The Others (2001)3042_fI was astonished to find that I had first intended to watch this film two Octobers ago, having taken it on holiday to Scotland with me with the aim of watching it on my laptop. I remember taking it with me along with a small stack of other DVDs and being so overwhelmed by the experience of watching Twilight (I don’t necessarily mean that in a good way) that I didn’t get around to any of the other films but concentrated on books instead.

But this year Carl cleverly included a movie watching peril for his RIP VI challenge and I created myself a little list, of which this and The Nightmare Before Christmas (which I won’t review because I watch it at least once every year) were the only ones I got around to watching; go figure.

As this is a psychological creepy film I am going to try very hard to talk about it without giving away any spoilers; this may be difficult but I will do my best.

So The Others has Nicole Kidman apparently abandoned by her staff in her stately home on an island previously occupied during the Second World War, waiting with her two young children for her husband to return from the fighting. Three mysterious new servants turn up and we begin to see how odd the household actually is – the children are apparently incredibly sensitive to light and so doors are kept  locked and unlocked as people move through the house and the curtains kept drawn and windows shuttered to protect them from the outside world.

And that’s when all the strange occurrences begin. Noises. Presences. You get the picture.

This is a really effective and atmospheric chiller. The sense of isolation is constantly reinforced by the fog which occasionally surrounds the house, and the small community goes through its daily routine without any visits from the outside world. Well, not many anyway.

I was very impressed with the performances, especially from Nicole Kidman who is an actress I can take or leave; when she’s good she’s brilliant (as here) but I’ve often been underwhelmed by her choice of projects. The two children are very good indeed, and it’s always lovely to see Eric Sykes on good form. But my favourite has to be Fionnula Flanagan who is simply wonderful as the housekeeper who knows more than she is willing to share.

I’ll have to confess that I knew the outcome of the story in advance (it is a film that has been kicking around for quite a while after all) and as with Fight Club it’s difficult to now what I might have thought of the film without this background. But I didn’t know exactly how it was all going to work out, and there was still a huge amount to enjoy, so still a great experience.

This is a film I know I will go back to in future. A good watch for RIP.