The Others (2001 film)

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The Others
TheOthers.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar
Produced by
Written by Alejandro Amenábar
Starring
Music by Alejandro Amenábar
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Edited by Nacho Ruiz Capillas
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release dates
  • August 10, 2001 (2001-08-10) (US)
  • September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07) (Spain)
  • September 14, 2001 (2001-09-14) (Italy)
  • December 26, 2001 (2001-12-26) (France)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
Country
  • Spain
  • United States
  • France
  • Italy
Language
  • English
  • French
Budget $17 million[2]
Box office $209.9 million[2]

The Others (Spanish: Los Otros) is a 2001 Spanish-American supernatural gothic horror film with elements of a psychological horror film. It was written, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan.

The film won eight Goya Awards, including awards for Best Film and Best Director. This was the first English-language film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain's national film awards), without a single word of Spanish spoken in it. The Others was nominated for six Saturn Awards including Best Director and Best Writing for Amenábar and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Alakina Mann,[3] and won three: Best Horror Film, Best Actress for Kidman and Best Supporting Actress for Fionnula Flanagan. Kidman was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Drama and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, with Amenábar being nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, a rare occurrence for a horror film.

Plot[edit]

Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is a devout Roman Catholic mother who lives with her two young children in a remote country house in the British Crown Dependency of Jersey in the immediate aftermath of World War II. The children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), have an uncommon disease, characterized by photosensitivity, so their lives are structured around a series of complex rules to protect them from inadvertent exposure to sunlight. The arrival of three servants at the house — aging Mrs. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), elderly gardener Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and a mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy) — coincides with a number of odd events, and Grace begins to fear there are unknown others in the house.

Anne draws pictures of four people she has seen in the house numerous times: a man, woman, a boy called Victor, and an old woman. Grace finds a 19th-century "book of the dead", an album of mourning portrait photos of deceased family members from a previous generation, with some missing pages. She hears noises in the house. With the servants, she tries hunting down the intruders but cannot find them. She does not believe her daughter has seen the others until she hears the ghosts herself. Convinced that something unholy is in the house, she runs out in the fog in search of the local priest to bless the house. Meanwhile, Mr. Tuttle is covering gravestones under autumn leaves.

Outside, Grace discovers her husband Charles (Christopher Eccleston), whom she thought had been killed in the war, and brings him back to the house. Charles is distant during the short time he spends there, and Mrs. Mills says, "I do not think he knows where he is." During this time, Grace attacks someone dressed up like her daughter; she is frightened by the face she sees underneath Anne's First Communion veil. However, she finds that she has actually attacked her daughter. Mrs. Mills tells a distraught Anne that she too has seen the unknown people in the house and that big changes are coming. Charles says he must leave for the front and Grace wakes to find him gone again.

One morning, Grace hears the children's screams: all of the curtains in the house have disappeared or have been taken down by the intruders, as Anne had said they might. When Grace sees the servants are not alarmed by this, she accuses them of being involved and banishes them from the house. That night, Anne and Nicholas sneak outside to find their father. Anne discovers the graveyard, which the servants have uncovered, and realizes that these are the servants' graves. At the same time, Grace finds a photograph from the book of the dead and is horrified to see it is of the three servants. The servants appear and follow the children back to the house. Grace has the children hide upstairs, while Mrs. Mills reveals that the three servants died of tuberculosis more than 50 years before. Hearing the children scream, she tells Grace to go upstairs and talk to the intruders.

Grace walks upstairs to the bedroom with her rosary beads. There, she discovers that the old woman whom Anne had described is acting as a medium in a séance with Victor's parents, talking to Anne. The medium asks the children questions about how they died. The children begin to scream that they are not dead. In a frenzy of denial, Grace shakes the séance table, and rips the papers on which the medium has been writing. Victor's family sees only the table shaking and the paper being ripped.

As Grace and the children huddle together in shock in the darkened school room, her memories return to her: stricken with grief for her missing husband, isolated by the children's condition and the servants leaving her, Grace lost her mind and smothered her children with a pillow. Realizing what she had done, she shot herself. When she then "awoke" and heard her children's laughter, she assumed God had granted her family a second chance at life. Anne asks if they are in Limbo; Grace is no longer sure of her Catholic teachings.

Mrs. Mills tells Grace that they will learn to get along with the intruders who periodically come to the house, that sometimes they will notice them and sometimes they will not. The children find they are no longer photosensitive (as they are no longer living), and for the first time, they can enjoy playing in the sunlight. Victor's family, unable to rid the house of its former occupants' spirits, drive away as Grace and the children watch. Although the property is again put up for sale, Grace and the children are firm that "this house is ours," and "no one can make us leave."

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The production crew visited Penshurst Place in Kent to film at the Lime Walk in the gardens. The Lime Walk was used in the scene where Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) went looking for a priest in the thick fog and instead met her husband who had returned from the war.[4] Filming locations are among other spots Las Fraguas, Cantabria, northern (Spain) and in Madrid.

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

The Others was released August 10, 2001 in 1,678 theaters in the United States and Canada and grossed $14 million its opening weekend, ranking fourth at the box office. It stayed in fourth for three more weeks, expanding to more theaters. During the weekend of September 21–23, it was second at the box office, grossing $5 million in 2,801 theaters.[5] The film, which cost $17 million to produce, eventually grossed $96.5 million in the United States and Canada and $113.4 million in other countries, for a worldwide total gross of $209.9 million.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Many critics praised the performances of the stars especially Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 148 reviews; the website's consensus stated "The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy."[6] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 29 reviews.[7] Roger Ebert gave the film two and a half stars out of four, praising that "...Alejandro Amenábar has the patience to create a languorous, dreamy atmosphere, and Nicole Kidman succeeds in convincing us that she is a normal person in a disturbing situation and not just a standard-issue horror movie hysteric." However, he noted that "in drawing out his effects, Amenábar is a little too confident that style can substitute for substance."[8]

William Skidelsky of The Observer has suggested that it was inspired by the 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw.[9]

Accolades[edit]

  • Goya Awards:
    • Best Cinematography (Javier Aguirresarobe)
    • Best Director (Alejandro Amenábar)
    • Best Editing (Nacho Ruiz Capillas)
    • Best Film
    • Best Production Design
    • Best Production Supervision
    • Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro Amenábar)
    • Best Sound
  • Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards:
    • Best Actress (Nicole Kidman)
  • London Film Critics:
    • Best Actress of the Year (Nicole Kidman)
  • Online Film Critics:
    • Best Actress (Nicole Kidman)
    • Best Original Screenplay (Alejandro Amenábar)
  • Saturn Awards:

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE OTHERS (12)". British Board of Film Classification. September 4, 2001. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Others (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  3. ^ The MovieWeb Team (June 13, 2002). "The 2001 Saturn Awards". MovieWeb. 
  4. ^ Kent Film Office (17 March 2001). "Filmed in Kent: The Others (2001)". Retrieved 2014-12-12. 
  5. ^ "The Others (2001) - Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  6. ^ "The Others - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  7. ^ "Others, The (2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  8. ^ "The Others (2001)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Skidelsky, Will. "Classics corner: The Turn of the Screw," The Observer (29 May 2010).

External links[edit]