The Others (2001 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alejandro Amenábar|
|Written by||Alejandro Amenábar|
|Music by||Alejandro Amenábar|
|Edited by||Nacho Ruiz Capillas|
|Distributed by||Warner Sogefilms (Spain)|
|Box office||$209.9 million|
The Others (Spanish: Los otros) is a 2001 English-language Spanish gothic supernatural psychological horror film. It was written, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston, Elaine Cassidy, Eric Sykes, Alakina Mann and James Bentley.
The Others was theatrically released in the United States on August 2, 2001, by Dimension Films and in Spain on September 7, 2001, by Warner Sogefilms. The film was a box-office success, grossing over $209.9 million worldwide and received positive reviews from critics, with many praising Amenábar's direction and screenplay, as well as the musical score, atmosphere and Kidman's performance.
The film won seven 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, 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.
In 1945, Grace Stewart occupies a remote country house in Jersey and awakens one day from a nightmare in the immediate aftermath of World War II. She lives with her two young children, Anne and Nicholas, who have a rare disease characterized by photosensitivity (possibly xeroderma pigmentosum). Grace hires three new servants—the aging Mrs. Bertha Mills, elderly gardener Edmund Tuttle, and a mute girl named Lydia. Mrs. Mills explains to Grace that she worked in the same house many years before. 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, a woman, an old woman and a child called Victor, who claimed that "the house is theirs". After Grace hears footsteps and unknown voices, she orders the house to be searched. She then finds a 19th-century Book of the Dead, a photo album of mourning portrait photographs. When Grace asks Mrs. Mills about her previous experience in the house, Mrs. Mills recounts that many left due to an outbreak of tuberculosis.
At night, Grace witnesses a piano playing itself and becomes convinced that the house is haunted. She 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 finds the cemetery but, per Mrs. Mills's orders, covers the gravestones with leaves. Mrs. Mills assures Tuttle that Grace will learn in due time the reasons behind the unexplained events. Outside, Grace runs into her husband Charles, whom she thought had been killed in the war. Charles greets his children after a long absence, but is distant during his short stay at the house. Later, Grace comes across an old woman in one of the rooms and attacks her. The old woman is only a vision and Grace has in fact attacked her own daughter, Anne. Later, Anne tells her brother that their mother went mad in the same way "that day" but he does not remember. Charles says he must leave for the front, even though Grace claims that the war is over. The two embrace and lie motionless together in bed.
The next morning, Charles has left and the children are screaming that the curtains are gone, letting in sunlight. Grace accuses the servants of removing the curtains and banishes them from the house. That night, the children sneak outside and discover that the headstones in the cemetery belong to the servants. The children retreat in fear when they see the servants approach. Meanwhile, Grace finds a photograph that has fallen out of the Book of the Dead onto the floor under some furniture. It is a photograph of the corpses of the three servants. The children run upstairs and hide in the bedroom where they are discovered by the elderly woman. Mrs. Mills returns to the house and tells Grace to go upstairs and talk to the intruders.
Grace discovers that the old woman is in fact a medium in a séance with Victor's parents, who has found out via automatic writing that Grace smothered the children to death with a pillow in a fit of despair before committing suicide. Grace realizes that "the others" are the family that has moved into the house, and that she, her young children and the three servants are all dead (the servants since 1891 and Grace and the children some time in the very recent past, her fit of despair presumably due to finding out her husband had died fighting in WWII).
Following this display of supernatural and spiritual activity, Victor and his family vacate the house and leave it in the occupancy of the spirits of its predecessors. However, due to the fact that they are dead, Anne and Nicholas' spirits are finally allowed to play in the sun. Mrs. Mills informs the Stewarts that others will come back to the house and they will have to learn to coexist together, but Grace ominously states that the house is theirs. As she says this, more "For Sale" signs are posted outside.
- Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart
- Fionnula Flanagan as Mrs. Mills
- Christopher Eccleston as Charles Stewart
- Alakina Mann as Anne Stewart
- James Bentley as Nicholas Stewart
- Eric Sykes as Mr. Tuttle
- Elaine Cassidy as Lydia
- Keith Allen as Mr. Marlish
- Renée Asherson as the Old Lady
- Michelle Fairley as Mrs. Marlish
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. Filming locations are, among other spots, Palacio de los Hornillos in Las Fraguas, Cantabria, Northern Spain, and in Madrid.
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. 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.
Many critics praised the performances of the stars especially Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 83% approval rating based on 162 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's consensus reads, "The Others is a spooky thriller that reminds us that a movie doesn't need expensive special effects to be creepy." On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 29 reviews. 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."
Although the film deals primarily with the spiritual interaction of ghosts with each other rather than with living humans, William Skidelsky of The Observer has suggested that it was inspired by the 1898 novella The Turn of the Screw written by Henry James.
- 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 April 2020, it was announced that Sentient Entertainment had acquired the remake rights to the film. The company plans to revamp the film by setting it in the present day.
In popular culture
- Scary Movie 3 includes parodies of scenes from the film, particularly the famous "I am your daughter" sequence.
- Hum Kaun Hai and Anjaane: The Unknown are Hindi remakes of The Others
- Spanish Movie is a parody film that spoofs several successful Spanish horror/drama films, primarily The Others but also The Orphanage, Pan's Labyrinth, REC, and others.
- Australian Band Elora Danan wrote a song about the film called "Thank God for Their Growth in Faith and Love" (a line seen on the children's blackboard in a later scene) which was a track on their debut EP We All Have Secrets.
- Electronic music artist Venetian Snares uses a sample from the film in the song "Children's Limbo" on the album Find Candace.
- Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror XXV includes a segment spoofing the film in which the Simpsons are haunted by their former selves from The Tracey Ullman Show.
- "Otros, Los". Catálogo de Cinespañol. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- "THE OTHERS (12)". British Board of Film Classification. September 4, 2001. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
- "The Others (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
- The MovieWeb Team (June 13, 2002). "The 2001 Saturn Awards". MovieWeb.
- Kent Film Office (March 17, 2001). "Filmed in Kent: The Others (2001)". Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- "The Others (2001) Filming Locations - The Movie District". The Movie District. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- "The Others (2001) - Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
- "The Others - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
- "Others, The (2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
- "The Others (2001)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.
- Skidelsky, Will. "Classics corner: The Turn of the Screw," The Observer (29 May 2010).
- Wiseman, Andreas. "Sentient Wins Remake Rights To Nicole Kidman Horror 'The Others', Alejandro Amenabar's Timely Self-Isolation Chiller Which Made $200M+". Deadline. Retrieved May 9, 2020.