Monday, September 26, 2011

"Sometimes I bleed."

~Charles (from: The Others)

As a film, and what I felt was a different take on a ghost story, "The Others" was a mentally challenging and interesting tale. It takes place in the Channel Islands, England, in 1945.

I profess must be a little thick sometimes, because the story was confusing to me the first time I saw it. Unlike some of my friends who smugly nod and state they knew what was going on all along, I have to confess that I was intrigued throughout most of the film.  I hadn't read anything about the movie, nor watched any trailers and so each scene was new for me as I tried to figure out what was happening in the 'haunted' house.

It was strangely entertaining for me to try to figure out why the lead character, Grace (played by Nicole Kidman), went throughout the house locking each door behind her, and having to open the next one with her jangling set of keys.

When Ms Bertha Mills, Mr Tuttle and the mute girl Lydia arrived on scene, I struggled to understand why they were really there, why they worked to cover the grave-stones, and how Ms Mills knew/understood the strange book Grace found in the house with pictures of the dead. When the noises from "the intruders" began, and the children Anne and Nicholas have to deal with a spectral "Victor" who lives in their room, I thought their home was haunted, and I was right...but not in the way I thought.

There were nuances throughout the film of how Grace had gone "mad" at one point around the children, and there are hints that something awful happened "that day" but I didn't put it together until the scene with the se'ance.  At that moment it was clear to me, but even when Grace saw the her daughter Anne as an old woman in her communion dress, I didn't understand.

Perhaps I'm lazy, as most of the time I just enjoyed letting myself go into the story, and preferred not to try to figure everything as I watched. I let go of the 'figuring it out' when I viewed film and the result was that I enjoyed it.  It wasn't my most favorite film to date, but the unique approach appealed to me, although once it was over it reminded me a little of the film, "The Sixth Sense."  Still, I felt it was creative, and found the tale pleasurable.  It's not a movie I would seek to watch over again, but it played on my imagination and through it, I saw the potential for the existence of ghosts in the eyes of the author, and how ghosts might experience the world, in a different light.  A light which doesn't blister or burn, but instead, takes time to shed a bit of understanding into a room I've always taken for granted.


"Haunted House" by 'scuroluce'
Deviant Art:


  1. Don't feel bad, Q. I didn't see it coming, either. I probably wouldn't have seen the SIXTH SENSE's twist coming, either, if my keen wife hadn't said, ridiculously early in the film, "Oh, he's dead." I still don't really understand why the old woman was in the communion dress, but I don't really care, either, as it was creepy enough to obliterate any need on my part for logic.

  2. Same here. I was completely taken in - and actually gasped when the old women said, "Is that how your mother killed you?" (and I'm married to John's male counterpart - my husband was one-third into the last Harry Potter and said "You know he's the last Horcrux, don't you?" It's a wonder I didn't kill him). If I hadn't already been a Nicole Kidman fan, this movie would've done it. Loved it. I saw it when it first came out and it still ranks among my favorites.

  3. I almost mentioned "Sixth Sense," too, as one of those films that I thought was great, but once I knew the ending I didn't really want to watch again. I was totally taken in by both films. My husband guessed "Sixth Sense" but wisely said nothing -- or unwisely, since as a result he is still married to me. :)

  4. Haha, yeah, definitely don't feel bad. I was probably more in the dark than anyone. When the caretakers' graves were revealed, I thought for sure that THEY were the ones haunting the house, which wasn't even that bad of a twist for me, which is what made the se'ance scene so great. It felt like two twists in a row.

  5. Thanks all, now I don't feel so bad. :)
    I enjoyed the film/movie. Appreciate everyone's comments!


  6. When I saw this in the theatre in 2001 it threw me for a loop. Even after repeat viewings, it's still a good twist!

  7. I remember being confused the first time I watched this film. The whole photosensitivity thing was odd and Grace's character was strange to me. Definite control freak. I did enjoy getting to see her character unravel...made her more human, more likable.

    And yes, it sure makes sense in the end. I always reference The Sixth Sense when I talk about The Other's. It's got that Shyamalan feel.

  8. I know I got into the conversation a tad late (>a year) but I couldn't help coming out with my two pence:

    In the same fashion that no one would enjoy comedy if they could antecipate all the punch lines, I'm pretty sure this kind of script (The Sixth Sense's, The Others', etc.) has got a purposedly blurry story for viewers not to actually understand them immediately.

    So don't feel bad at all: if anything, it shows you falling for the twisting ending implies that you've probably enjoyed the story as a whole - as the both the writer and director meant it to be.

    1. Thanks Nilson,

      I've watched it a couple of times since then and still enjoyed it! :) Thank you for stopping by and taking time for your thoughts here.