The Others is another kind of haunted house film. Psychological horror became very popular with movies like The Sixth Sense. The Others is also known for a twist that I unsuccessfully tried to avoid. Despite an English speaking cast that includes Nicole Kidman, The Others is technically a Spanish film. It was directed by Alejandro Amenábar and won Best Film at the Spanish Academy Awards. The Others takes place in a large old fashioned house during 1945 and centers on a small isolated family.
Kidman is fully committed to playing the paranoid fiercely religious mother Grace Stewart. The rebellious Anne and timid Nicholas are her children with a life or death sensitivity to light. The constant candlelit dark rooms make for a very creepy atmosphere. And that’s before any hint of ghosts. The only other occupants are Fionnula Flanagan as the housekeeper, Eric Sykes as the gardner, and Elaine Cassidy as the mute servant that Grace recently hires. They behave very strangely, but not as strange as Christopher Eccleston as Grace’s veteran husband who mysteriously returns from the war.
The titular others rarely make their presence known. Doors are unlocked, curtains are taken down, and mysterious voices are heard. The most iconic scene features Grace encountering her daughter under a veil who looks like an older woman. The twist is a deeply disturbing double whammy that reveals who the ghosts truly are. The Others will leave you guessing until the very end.