Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Others (2001)


“Sometimes the world of the living gets mixed up with the world of the dead.”

            There are no original ghost stories. Sure the characters and how the ghosts come around can be different but the story of the ghosts and why they are haunting is always the same. But, as with all movies in certain genres, there are exceptions. In the horror or drama or suspense genre, depending upon how you perceive it, The Others stands out as a work of originality and, if I may so, genius.
            A mother and her three young children live in a remote country estate in England. Grace, the mother, has been in a state of turmoil lately. All of her help just up and left her one day without any reason. Three new people are hired an old woman named Mrs. Mills, a young girl named Lydia, and an old man named Mr. Tuttle. Already a concern for Grace are her children Anne and Nicholas you suffer from a skin disease where they are extremely sensitive to light. All the rooms in the house must be blacked out and the doors locked behind anyone who enters them so no light can shine in.
            Almost as soon as Mrs. Mills, Mr. Tuttle, and Lydia arrive at the house strange occurrences and noises begin to happen. Anne begins to talk about speaking to a boy named Victor. She tells her mother that Victor is a boy who has just moved into the house with his parents and that he is a ghost.
            HERE IS WHERE I AM HOPING YOU HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE BECAUSE CAUTION SPOILER ALERT I AM WRITING WHAT HAPPENS.  
            The occurrences and noises happen with more weight and more frequently. Chasing a noises of banging Grace finds an old photograph album in a junk room filled with photos of dead people whose bodies have been posed. Mrs. Mills and Mr. Tuttle discuss a graveyard and certain gravestones from Grace.
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            Everything unravels and is revealed to Grace when she is alone with Anne trying on her communion gown. Anne had drawn a picture of the ghosts she had seen in the house besides Victor. She had seen his mother and father and this old woman with white eyes and crazy hair. Grace walks out the room and comes back to find not Anne in a dress but the old woman. After that we see the old woman sitting at a table with a few people. She is writing things. Anne goes over to the old woman and says something. The old woman replies that Anne, Grace, and Nicholas are dead. Grace refuses to believe them and angrily runs over to the table and rips up the paper.
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            Grace sits down in the hallway with Anne and Nicholas. She remembers killing them by smothering them with a pillow and then killing herself with a shot gun. She thought everything was alright when she heard the children laughing and happy in another room. Mrs. Mills, Mr. Tuttle, and Lydia are also dead. They had a photograph in the album. Mrs. Mills tells Grace that there will be other people coming to live in the house and sometimes they will feel their presence.
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            The Others is completely genius. It is a reverse ghost story. It is the ghosts, the dead, that are being haunted by the living. I remember watching for the first time years ago even before I was really into movies and thinking the story was brilliant and so different. The Others is one of my all time favorite movies. From start to finish it is suspenseful and gripping. Grace was a great character because she was so paranoid and edgy herself that she kind of helped to make to make the story more paranoid and edgy or at least helped you feel that way. Nicole Kidman was amazing as Grace I cannot see any other actress in this role. I cannot tell you enough how I highly recommend seeing The Others.
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