Do you hear that?

Someone is playing the piano.  I checked that room myself.  It’s empty.  The door is locked.

The children insist they were studying and that someone else sneaked into the music room.  That
can’t be.  This house is ours.  There are no intruders.  Are there?

I’m the Haunting Usher.  Let me scare you to your seat.

Released in 2001, written and directed by Alejandro Amenabar, "The Others" makes you question
the mysteries of immortality.

A mother and her children encounter intrusive presences when their Madrid mansion becomes

“They’re everywhere,” the daughter says.  “They say this house is theirs.”

Horror and suspense are at their subtlest.  Simple props and scare tactics create effective
illusions.  That’s what makes the film a classic.  That’s what makes it timeless.   

What makes "The Others" unique is that darkness rather than light serves as a means of
protection.  The children, Anne and Nicholas Stewart, suffer from photosensitivity.  According to
the Special Features side of "The Others" DVD, those afflicted can experience severe burns or
even cancerous tumors depending on what type they are.  For more information on
photosensitivity, right click  

Despite being exaggerated for dramatic effect, the dangers of the disease are accurately
depicted in the movie.

While the light is regarded as a harsh force threatening to intrude upon the family as the others
are intruding, it unveils an inevitable truth at the very end.

The musical score, consisting mostly of violins, succeeds in complementing the World War II era
in which "The Others" takes place.  It also enhances the horror and tension, particularly during
those rare moments when the others appear.

“You’re not my daughter,” the mother says when a mysterious old woman dresses in Anne’s
clothes and speaks in Anne’s voice.  “What have you done with my daughter?”

Nicole Kidman delivers a bold performance as Grace Stewart, a religious woman who becomes
unhinged by the supernatural.  I’ve always been fascinated by movies where a character
entrenched in reality is forced to react to abnormal situations.  

Following the scene where an intruder sneaks in and out of the piano room, Grace argues.  “That
isn’t possible.  The Lord would never allow such an aberration.”

Nicole is a risk taker.  She often prefers roles she knows will challenge her as an actor.  
Challenge motives her.

Kidman is quoted in Harper’s Bazaar as saying.  “I choose films that are a little weird or offbeat or
very uncomfortable.  I have to be convinced to do things that are more mainstream.”

The most crucial line, however, is delivered by theater actor Fionnula Flanagan, who plays Mrs.
Mills, the house servant, when called upon to share her views about what’s going on in the
house.  “Sometimes, the world of the dead gets mixed up with the world of the living.”

As an author of horror and suspense, I find that the greatest stories are those that don’t reveal
all their secrets at once.  Sometimes, it’s best that you don’t reveal them at all.

I’m the Haunting Usher.  Let me scare you out of the light.

Do you agree with my review?  What kind of spirits have you encountered?  Let me know in the
comments section.
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