Belgrade International Film Festival

"The Others"
(Alejandro Amenabar, director)

Review by Radmila Djurica

We have Nicole Kidman, living with her two children alone, in a big Victorian house, surrounded by fog, a guarantee of mystery. Her late husband went to war and didn't come back. Her little boy and girl are suffering from a strange illness. They can not be exposed to direct sunlight. The daylight exposes the truth about three souls kept in darkness, between two worlds, the world of the living and the world of death.

The Others is a film inspired by pulp fiction horror novels from the 50s, just like classic horror. The twist at the end of the film creates an atmosphere different from the usual horror film. It makes this story more real, even with such classic horror elements as: a God-devoted mother, the Holy Bible, hidden grave stones, and creepy fog continually surrounding the house.

The director of this film worked on two levels, making no moral judgements. He leaves plenty of space for the disbelievers as well as for believers in the supernatural. Even if all three people -- mother and children -- are from the other side, they do not belong to the darkness; their journey is from darkness to the light and self-discovery. The question of sin is a classic element of horror stories, but The Others complicates it. There are testimonies of people whose parallel world experiences are not directly connected with religion, even if the Holy Bible does not accept it. Well done, Nicole!!!!

The Others seems at first to be dead simple. Special effects involving the appearance of the ghosts, in the big Victorian house, and the twist ending, make the film more complex.



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