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Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan, Elaine Cassidy

Director: Alejandro Amenabar

Are you a fan of the Robert Wise’s version of THE HAUNTING (based on the novel THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE)?

If so, you will love this beautifully crafted film from first time director Alejandro Amenabar.

The story revolves around Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two children becoming accustomed to their large old house without the presence of her husband (Christopher Eccleston) who has been lost in the war.

One misty morning, the entire staff leaves Grace on her own, disappearing without a trace, not even stopping to pick up their wages. However, help is at hand when three servants turn up at the door (Fionnula Flanigan and Eric Sykes both brilliant) with an unnerving knowledge of the house. Although they settle in, they begin to find the house’s new occupants a little strange (The children are light sensitive and must be kept in the dark and Grace makes sure that all 50 doors in the house are locked as soon as they have been entered).

As the story progresses, all sorts of skeletons appear from the closet, so to speak, and we also find out that we, the audience, have been left in the dark until the twist ending which works very effectively.

It is a very long time since I have sat with so many scared people – unlike the unintentional laughter that accompanied releases like JEEPERS CREEPERS (PHASE9’s Editor loved it) – in a theatre.

The horror here, like all the great horror movies (the RK0 Val Lewton classics such as THE CAT PEOPLE and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE for example) is suggested, rather than blatant. The build up of atmosphere is palpable and you can almost believe that you too are running around the corridors of this lost, old house.

THE OTHERS is not only Nicole Kidman’s best film, it is also, unlike the aforementioned JEEPERS CREEPERS, one of the best horror movies in 10 years, although people will compare it to another movie when they think hard about the route the plot took. To name that movie would spoil the plot so just go and see it and then make your comparisons.

A classic old house tale, which although dusted down, still has its fair share of cobwebs and candles.

5 out of 6 stars

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