Friday, 23 March 2012

The Others (2001)

Pitched somewhere between an isolated haunted house and an M Night Shyamalan film, The Others is a very intrigue-ous film which never really delivers any of the scares that it's trying to deliver. Set in 1945, Grace (Kidman) lives with her two children in a huge mansion, while her husband (Eccleston) is fighting in the war (presumed dead). One of the children, Anne, has a very creative imagination, always hearing things or seeing people who aren't really there. Then when three housekeepers arrive un-announced on the doorstep, events take a turn for the inexplicable. Kidman does well as the protective mother who becomes increasingly exasperated, though I found her plummy accent a bit too much at times. The kids are quite good, especially James Bentley who plays Nicholas, he gave some brilliant terrified expressions. For me the main disappointment (other than the fact that I laughed at what were presumably meant to be the scary bits) was the very brief time that Christopher Eccleston was on screen, and when he was he had nothing to work with to show how great he is.

Overall it was a film that passed the time more than anything else. The atmosphere of the house was nice, lots of gas lamps allowing contrasts of light and deep shadows, and all the exterior shots of the house were very moody as it was always foggy; but it is not edge of the seat stuff. When the twist at the end comes, I felt "Oh right, fair enough", rather than "No Way! I have to watch it all again right now to pick up on everything!".