The Others (2001 film)

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The Others
TheOthers.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAlejandro Amenábar
Written byAlejandro Amenábar
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyJavier Aguirresarobe
Edited byNacho Ruiz Capillas
Music byAlejandro Amenábar
Production
companies
  • Las Producciones del Escorpion, SL
  • Sociedad General De Cine, S.A[1]
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 2, 2001 (2001-08-02) (United States)
  • September 7, 2001 (2001-09-07) (Spain)
Running time
104 minutes[3]
Countries
LanguageEnglish
Budget$17 million[4]
Box office$209.9 million[4]

The Others (Spanish: Los otros) is a 2001 English-language Spanish[1] gothic supernatural psychological horror film 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,[5] 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 1945, Grace Stewart awakens one day from a nightmare in the immediate aftermath of World War II. She lives in a remote country house in Jersey, a channel island formerly occupied by the Germans. She is with her two young children, Anne and Nicholas, who have a rare disease characterized by photosensitivity (possibly xeroderma pigmentosum). Grace hires three new servants— housekeeper Mrs. Bertha Mills, 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 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 a family has been buried there with a little boy named Victor. Tuttle finds the cemetery but covers the gravestones with leaves at the order of Mrs. Mills who assures him that Grace will learn the reasons behind the unexplained events in due time. Outside, Grace runs into her husband Charles, who 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 checks up on her daughter, Anne, whom she has left to play in a spare room. Instead, to her horror Grace finds an old woman on the floor in the room wearing her daughter's communion dress, veil down. The old woman claims in Anne's voice "I am your daughter". Frightened, Grace attacks the old woman only to find that the old woman is merely an illusion and Grace has inadvertently attacked her own daughter. Later, Anne tells her brother that their mother has gone mad in the same way she did "that day" but he does not recall. 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, thus letting in the sunlight. Grace accuses the servants of having removed the curtains against her wishes and expels them from the house. That night, the children sneak outside and discover that the headstones in the cemetery belong to the recently banished servants. The children run away in fear when they turn to see that the servants are approaching them toward the cemetery in the foggy dark of night. Meanwhile, Grace finds a photograph that has slipped out of the Book of the Dead and fallen onto the floor under some furniture. The photograph displays the corpses of the three servants, Mrs. Mills, Tuttle and Lydia, who perished during a tuberculosis outbreak in 1891. The children run upstairs and hide in the bedroom where they are discovered by "the other" 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 her 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 children, and the servants are, in fact, dead.

Following this display of supernatural and spiritual activity, Victor and his family vacate the house and leave it in the occupancy of the ghosts of its predecessors. However, because they are dead, Anne and Nicholas' ghosts 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, a "For Sale" sign is seen mounted to the gate.

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.[6] Filming locations are, among other spots, Palacio de los Hornillos in Las Fraguas, Cantabria, Northern Spain, and in Madrid.[7]

Reception[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 place 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.[8] The film, which cost $17 million to produce, eventually grossed $96.5 million in the United States and Canada. It grossed $24 million in Spain, becoming the highest-grossing Spanish film of all-time, beating the record set earlier in the year by Torrente 2: Misión en Marbella.[9][10] It grossed $89 million in other countries, for a worldwide total gross of $209.9 million.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

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".[11] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 29 reviews.[12] 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".[13]

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.[14]

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:

Planned remake[edit]

In April 2020, Sentient Entertainment had acquired the remake rights to the film. The company plans to revamp the film by setting it in the present day.[15] Later that year, it was announced that Universal Pictures will co-produce and distribute the film with Sentient.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Otros, Los". Catálogo de Cinespañol. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  2. ^ Levy, Emanuel (August 10, 2001). "The Others". Screen International. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  3. ^ "THE OTHERS (12)". British Board of Film Classification. September 4, 2001. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "The Others (2001)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  5. ^ The MovieWeb Team (June 13, 2002). "The 2001 Saturn Awards". MovieWeb.
  6. ^ Kent Film Office (March 17, 2001). "Filmed in Kent: The Others (2001)". Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  7. ^ "The Others (2001) Filming Locations - The Movie District". The Movie District. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Others (2001) - Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  9. ^ Groves, Don (October 22, 2001). "Romance, laffs boos o'seas B.O.". Variety. p. 12.
  10. ^ Hopewell, John (December 24, 2001). "Homegrown pix gain in Europe". Variety. p. 7.
  11. ^ "The Others - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  12. ^ "Others, The (2001): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  13. ^ "The Others (2001)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  14. ^ Skidelsky, Will. "Classics corner: The Turn of the Screw", The Observer (29 May 2010).
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Kroll, Justin. "'The Others' Remake In The Works As Universal Pictures & Sentient Entertainment Partner On New Movie". Deadline. Retrieved January 12, 2021.

External links[edit]