Halloween Marathon #2: The Others
Premise: A few years after the Second World War and the loss of her husband, a young mother hires some new servants to help look after her two young children, both of whom suffer from an affliction that hurts them if they go out into the sunlight.
However, not long after, mysterious things start happening, noises and footsteps can be heard and the mother comes to learn that not everything is as it seems…
Now this was more like it. Don’t know what it is about Spanish Ghost Story movies this month, but both this and The Orphanage seriously blew me away with how good they were.
However, while the Orphanage was very much a spiritual successor to the Devil’s Backbone, this movie reminded me a lot more of the classic British Horror movie, ‘The Innocents’, about a questionably sane British Governess looking after two children and dealing with suspicious ghostly figures. In this case, the questionably sane mother looking after two children, is played by Nicole Kidman and she does a fantastic job as the uptight and increasingly unbalanced mother, as more and more spooky goings-on keep happening. In fact, almost all of the cast does a good job in this, even the child actors.
Speaking of spooky goings-on, like Les Diaboliques, I actually did know the big twist in this going in, but it didn’t ruin the experience for me in the slightest. On the contrary, it really made me appreciate the sheer amount of clever foreshadowing and careful execution of the movie, all building up to that one reveal. From simple things like seemingly off-hand comments to even just simple looks and reactions. Even if I wasn’t surprised, I was still impressed at the level of forethought and detail that went into the film.
As for the scares, there were quite a few good ones, such as the old woman behind the veil and the piano scene. Not to mention, the very setting and its constant need to be kept in shrouding darkness makes for an excellently frightening atmosphere. There was a good balance of transition scenes, mystery scenes and scares and the pacing kept up well enough that I never felt bored.
So yeah, unlike Les Diaboliques, this happened to be one horror that met the hype. Now to see if the final movie of this month and this movie marathon did as well…
Was is Scary?: It’s a creepy haunted house flick. You gotta bet there’s some scares here and there.
Was it Silly?: Again, not really.
Overall Grade: A