I’m having a horror moment here. I was trying to think of a good scary movie and one popped up in my head and I was wrapped in a euphoria of blissful fear. THE OTHERS. I raved about this movie for ever because they didn’t use any CGI , blood, or gore, and managed to creep me out just as much, if not more, then the other movies at the time. It’s just one of those films where the concept is mind blowing. You’re just in awe at the possibility of these things happening in real life and then you begin to feel like the writers are on to something. That’s the true delight of this film.
The Others – Synopsis:
Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) lives on a beautiful plot of land with her two children and her husband. The movie takes place after World War 2. Her husband had been drafted and has yet to return, although the war has been long since over. Grace is hopeful of his return, because she hears stories about soldiers returning from the war all the time. She’s in denial, actually. Obvious denial. Everyone thinks he is dead and she probably does too.
Her children, Anne and Nicholas, have a rare disease that causes them to be allergic to light. An actual rare disease called Xeroderma pigmentosum.
There are strict measures taken to protect the children from light and Grace runs her house like a very well oiled machine. However, her servants have left abruptly in the night, and she is now tasked with finding a new set of servants to help with caring for the children.
With barely enough time for her ad to go up in the paper, an old woman, a girl, and a man show up at her residence trying to fill the positions. It’s obvious from the start that this group is a little weird, but they all take to their chores well and no one can complain.
It becomes apparent that they are not the only ones living in the home. Her daughter has been hearing noises and seeing people. After not taking her seriously, Grace realizes that her stories may be true. Her daughter has seen an old woman with white eyes and a young boy. That’s when the moving furniture and sounds begin and Grace begins to believe her. They’re in a house full of ghosts. She has no one, since her husband never came back, and her new servants seem too weird to be trusted. Are the servants working with the ghosts? Are they ghosts too? Did they bring the ghosts?
Spoiler-ridden info below:
The best part of all this is the realization that Grace and her children are actually the ghosts here. This is a story in which after death, these beings don’t realize they have passed on and continue living life. You would assume that ghosts see the living and make a choice whether or not to haunt them. In this film, these ghosts cannot see the living, the same way the living cannot see them. They can only sense or occasionally hear each other.
This was such a great flip on a paranormal theory. I always assumed ghosts had a personal choice or obligation in haunting the living. What really makes it all come together is that these ghosts do not know they are ghosts. Being that Grace and her children live in the middle of nowhere, with very little contact with other people, there is no real way to notice that suddenly they don’t see anyone around. And if you haven’t guessed it by now, the three servants are also ghosts, which is why they can see each other.
One of the amazing parts of this movie is how it all ties into the theme that Grace needs to realize what really is going on. There is a part where the children are exposed to light and she goes crazy thinking that they are going to have an allergic reaction and die, but nothing happens. This was not a turning point for her. She saw it as a miracle.
Grace tries to leave the home to find a priest, when things seem to be picking up with the ghost sightings, but is confronted by intense fog. I absolutely love this theory, because you have to wonder what holds a ghost to a location. In this case, the fog doesn’t allow her to leave the proximity of her home, and right out there, is where she bumps into her husband. He looks strange and worn down, but she brings him home. He doesn’t stay and he says as much. He apparently died on his way home and now roams the outskirts of their land. But he can’t leave that location, so that his time with her is limited because he is bound to the woods outside their home.
Also, the little girl mentions often, something bad that Grace did, but never goes into it. Grace fears her daughter revealing this thing to other people. And that very thing, is the key to what they are now. Grace had at one point realized that her husband was dead and went crazy. She shot her children in their beds and then killed herself. The little girl somewhat remembers but it’s like an unreal situation that she figures they survived somehow. Grace thinks it was just a bad dream, but somehow doesn’t grasp the concept that her daughter is in on something she considers a dream.
To make that connection between both worlds, and bring in that final kicker, the living who have been sharing this home, have hired a medium. The medium is able to make connections with the dead, in particular, the little girl. The connection between the dead and the living is further opened when the medium conducts a seance , which allows for Grace to see the people that have been living in the house.
Grace’s reaction to finding out she is dead? THIS IS OUR HOME AND NO ONE CAN MAKE US LEAVE.
That’s right, shes going to haunt the chandeliers off the place, so that no one moves in and invades her space. Doesn’t that seem the stance that some ghost sightings support? It seems like certain locations have ghosts that just won’t entertain an inhabitant. Now, you can imagine that maybe these ghost are just being territorial. They may not be paying the mortage any longer, but they consider it their property,
I love when they give meaning to the unexplained. It makes you wonder if there is any truth to the theory.
Reasons why I give the Others movie 8/10:
That blind old woman is the scariest character ever. How could you not think the old woman with white eyes is a ghost?
That woman creeped me out
Little moments of clarity really make this movie. Realizing that the servants are dead and their tombstones are right in the backyard, priceless.
This has to be the most memorable and spoofed scene of the movie. “I AM YOUR DAUGHTER” I don’t know what this movie would be if the Medium didn’t have white eyes. If she didn’t look as ghastly, then Grace would have been looking at just anybody posing as her daughter. She probably would have thought she was losing her marbles, instead of feeling any fear.
Once Grace starts believing in the others, her daughters storytelling becomes something to think about. I love it when she draws every person she has seen in the house with the number of times she has seen them. The single fact that the white-eyed lady is the most frequent visitor, would have had me sleeping in the shed.
What did you think of The Others? Did you enjoy the plot or maybe the old woman with the white eyes? Maybe, we should talk about it!
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IMAGE SOURCE: “TheOthers” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia