Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Others. B

'The Others' reminded me of one of my favorite horror movies, 'The Innocents.' A mother, Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is living in a massive old house with her two children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley). Her husband is off fighting the war. One day three mysterious people, an old man and woman, and a young girl who is a mute, arrive. Grace presumes that they are the housekeepers that she had sent for and welcomes them graciously. But later she looks in her mailbox and finds the envelope that she had sent out is still there, untouched. She confronts the old woman, Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan) and she informs Grace that they used to work at the house and are very fond of it. Grace allows them to stay. Meanwhile, Anne is getting to be rather creepy. She informs her brother and her mother that a young boy, Victor, is living in the house too. Grace hears strange noises but is sure that no one else is in the house. This is the most frightening part of the movie. We aren't sure who is right and the mysterious housekeepers are growing stranger by the day. So why is 'The Others' not as good as 'The Innocents?' Well for many of the obvious reasons--that the former simply isn't made as well. But the real thing is the ending. I tend to promote horror movies that leave the answers unanswered simply the make the movie more mystifying and debatable. 'The Others' answers all of the questions that the audience wants to know, but when we know the answers the movie doesn't scare us as much when we think about it. 'The Innocents' still scares me when it enters into my mind. 'The Others' will never scare me again. Now since 'The Others' isn't a great movie to begin with, the answers at the end are perfectly acceptable. Director Alejandro Amenabar does a nice job in several areas but the movie felt a little too predictable where the characters lay. The children were obvious and the caretakers lost their sense of terror in the climax of the film. Nicole Kidman's performance is very good and we still have to admire this movie for attempting to be more creative than most suspense movies. And it is. So watch it.

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