The Others

Image: The Others :Miramax Films:

Image: The Others :Miramax Films:

Jason Okamoto

3 Stars out of 4

“The Others” is a scary movie that brings back the basics of the genre that crafted by old Hollywood filmmakers such as Terence Fisher (“The Devil Rides Out”) and William Castle (“The House on Haunted Hill”). Written and directed by Spain’s Alejandro Amenábar (“Open Your Eyes”), the film relies on old-fashioned scares that have been virtually extinct after the advents of Fred Kreuger and Jason Voorhees.

The movie?s scares are provided by shadow-casting spotlights, and the classic Hollywood sound file. There is no blood and no elaborate special effects to make one jump in their seat. It’s frightening not by what it shows us, but by what it doesn’t show us.

With her husband off to war, and her servants suddenly disappearing, Grace (Nicole Kidman) is left alone with her two children in a very large house. The window curtains are always pulled shut, because her children have an allergy to sunlight so drastic that they could die if exposed to it. When three new servants mysteriously show up on her doorstep, Grace takes them in. Soon after, the children and eventually Grace as well begin to have encounters with ghosts who claim that the house is theirs.

“Event Horizon” and “The Sixth Sense” are the only other films I’ve seen that can match up with “The Others” when it comes to making me sink in my seat. Two or three scenes are almost guaranteed to even scare the most jaded filmgoer. For all people who fear the supernatural, but have never really seen a ghost, this movie is like a tap on your shoulder when nobody is behind you.