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 date
  • 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 psychological horror. 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]

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Grace Stewart, a devout Roman Catholic mother, lives with her two young children, Anne and Nicholas, in a remote country house in the Channel Islands. The children have an uncommon disease characterized by photosensitivity, so the curtains are closed to protect them from inadvertent exposure to sunlight. Grace hires three new servants—the aging Mrs. Bertha Mills, elderly gardener Edmund Tuttle, and a mute girl named Lydia. Mills explains that she had previously worked in the house many years ago. Grace claims that her last servants left abruptly. Anne tells Mills that 'mummy went mad' after the previous servants left. Nicholas disagrees and argues that 'nothing happened'. Grace explains to Mills that she does not believe in ghosts and requests Mills not to trust everything that the children say.

When odd events occur at the house, Grace begins to fear there are unknown others present. Anne claims to have seen a group of people in the house several times: a man, woman, an old woman and a child called Victor, who have claimed that 'the house is theirs' and threatened to remove the curtains. After Grace hears footsteps and disembodied voices, she orders the house to be searched. Grace finds a 19th-century "book of the dead", an album of mourning portrait photos of deceased family members, with some missing pages. Grace asks Mills about when she last worked in the house. Mills says her previous employers in the house moved to England and they were evacuated due to the tuberculosis outbreak.

At night, Grace witnesses a piano playing itself and becomes convinced that the house may be haunted, which Mills strengthens with the idea that the world of the dead does get mixed up with the world of the living. Convinced that something unholy is in the house, Grace runs outside in search of the local priest to bless the house. Before leaving, Grace instructs Tuttle to check a small nearby cemetery to see if there was a family buried there who had a little boy named Victor. Tuttle covers the gravestones with autumn leaves, under the orders of Mills, who comments that Grace thinks the house is haunted.

Outside, Grace discovers her husband Charles, whom she thought had been killed in the war. Charles greets his children after a long absence, but is distant during the short time he spends at the house; Mills suggests he is disoriented.

Later, Grace has a vision of an elderly woman and attacks her. Grace soon learns that she has actually attacked Anne, who retreats to her father. Charles later asks Grace what happened 'that day'. Grace claims that she does not know but recalls that the servants left without giving notice and without her husband there, she could not leave the house and she did not know what came over her. Following Grace's attack, Anne tells Nicholas that Grace went mad in the same way that she did 'that day'. Nicholas denies recollection of that day. Charles says he must leave for the front even though Grace claims that the war is over. Charles weeps when Grace thinks that he wanted to leave her, and the two then have sex. The next morning Grace wakes to find him gone again.

The children wake up screaming as all the curtains have disappeared. Grace moves the children into a room and blocks out the light. Grace accuses the servants of removing the curtains and banishes them. After leaving, an annoyed Mills asks Tuttle to uncover the gravestones. That night, as Grace searches for the curtains, the children sneak outside to find Charles. Anne discovers the graveyard and realizes that these are the servants' graves. Simultaneously, Grace finds a torn out photograph from the book of the dead and is horrified to see it is of the three servants. The servants appear and try to speak to the children, who retreat. Grace locks out the servants and tells the children to hide upstairs in the bedroom. From outside, Mills reveals that the three servants died of tuberculosis more than 50 years ago and that the living and the dead should learn to live together. Hearing the children scream as they face the elderly woman, Mills tells Grace to go upstairs and talk to the intruders.

Grace discovers that the old woman, described by Anne, is acting as a medium in a séance with Victor's parents. The medium asks what happened to Anne and Nicholas. The children's answers are written down by the medium and read out by a man. It is revealed that Grace smothered the children to death with a pillow on the day she "went mad". The children scream that they are not dead. Grace, in denial, shakes the séance table and rips the medium's papers. Victor's family sees only the table shaking and the papers being ripped; they are convinced to vacate the house.

Grace regains her memories: stricken with grief for her missing husband, and isolated by the children's condition and the servants leaving her, Grace lost her mind and killed her children. Realizing what she had done, she shot herself. When she "awoke" and heard her children's laughter, she assumed God had granted her family a second chance at life. Grace questions where they are now if not alive. Mills says that Lydia also wondered this when she realised that she and the servants had died; after which, out of shock, she never spoke in the afterlife again. Anne asks if they are in Limbo; Grace is no longer sure despite her Catholic teachings.

Mills tells Grace that they will learn to get along with future intruders. The children, no longer photosensitive as they are deceased, can enjoy playing in the sunlight. Although the property is again put up for sale, Grace and the children firmly believe that the house is theirs.

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, Palacio de los Hornillos in Las Fraguas, Northern Spain, and in Madrid.[5]

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.[6] 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."[7] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 29 reviews.[8] 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."[9]

William Skidelsky of The Observer has suggested that it was inspired by the 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw.[10]

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) Filming Locations - The Movie District". The Movie District. Retrieved 2017-11-19. 
  6. ^ "The Others (2001) - Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  7. ^ "The Others - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  8. ^ "Others, The (2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  9. ^ "The Others (2001)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  10. ^ Skidelsky, Will. "Classics corner: The Turn of the Screw," The Observer (29 May 2010).

External links[edit]