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"THE OTHERS"
(2001) (Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor *Moderate Extreme Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Mild Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Horror: After a trio of hirelings arrives at her mid-20th century estate, a war widow and her two young children begin experiencing paranormal events.
PLOT:
Grace (NICOLE KIDMAN) is a single mother who's having a rough time raising her two young children in an isolated manor on the Isle of Jersey. Not only was her husband, Charles (CHRISTOPHER ECCELESTON), killed in WWII one and a half years ago, but their servants also just abruptly left the estate without warning.

That makes it difficult for Grace to care for her kids, Anne (ALAKINA MANN) and Nicholas (JAMES BENTLEY), since they're allergic to bright light and could develop serious problems if exposed to sunlight.

Things seem to look up when a trio of workers - housekeeper Mrs. Mills (FIONNULA FLANAGAN), gardener/handyman Mr. Tuttle (ERIC SYKES), and Lydia (ELAINE CASSIDY), a mute nanny - show up at Grace's door. Since they previously worked at the house, Grace hires them under the condition that no door be opened before the last one behind it is closed and locked - to prevent the children from accidental exposure to sunlight - and that they understand that Anne is prone to making up all sorts of wild and crazy-sounding stories.

All's well for a while until Anne reports that other people are in the house with them and various odd noises and occurrences then lead Grace to believe that something paranormal is occurring in her home. From that point on, the creepy incidents begin to intensify until they lead to a startling revelation about the house and its former occupants.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they like old-fashioned horror films (meaning ghost rather than slasher stories), they probably will, as might fans of anyone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic elements and frightening moments.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • NICOLE KIDMAN plays a single mother who's trying to raise her young kids - who are allergic to light - with a proper, religious upbringing, but must contend with the various paranormal and supernatural events that begin to occur in their home.
  • ALAKINA MANN plays her headstrong daughter who enjoys spooking her younger brother and becomes upset when Grace won't believe her stories about other people being in their house.
  • JAMES BENTLEY plays her younger brother who falls prey to Anne's various attempts at spooking him.
  • FIONNULA FLANAGAN plays an older housekeeper who arrives at the house offering to help Grace. As the story progresses, she begins to act ever more suspiciously while talking about the dead and the living.
  • ERIC SYKES the older handyman/gardener who's also hired to work at the house.
  • ELAINE CASSIDY plays the mute nanny who works with them.
  • CHRISTOPHER ECCELESTON plays Grace's husband who was killed in WWII.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this PG-13 rated horror/suspense film. Being a picture about a haunted house, it's filled with all sorts of material that's likely to come off as unsettling, suspenseful and/or downright frightening to many viewers (especially when accompanied by related music). That includes a revelation of something bad that occurred in the past that's also bound to be disturbing.

    There are a few violent scenes related to the supernatural material, a brief sensuous moment between a married couple (kissing/nuzzling on a bed), and some tense family moments. Beyond a few religious exclamations and the possibility that kids could get the notion to try to spook or scare their siblings, parents or friends, the rest of the film's categories have little or nothing in the way of major objectionable material.

    Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information regarding what's present in and occurs during the picture.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Grace finds an antique "book of the dead" that shows many black and white photos of dead people lying on beds or propped up in chairs, etc. (most look like they're sleeping, but some do look dead but not gory).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Grace occasionally has a condescending/demanding attitude toward the hirelings.
  • Anne slightly makes fun of Lydia suggesting that she certainly wouldn't be the one to tell Grace something (since the girl is mute).
  • We learn that someone did something quite bad to others in the past (but we don't see the act).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A great deal of the film is comprised of such scenes as well as an overall foreboding and/or creepy aura (along with traditional, suspenseful, ominous and scary music).
  • We hear Grace letting out a blood-curdling scream, but then see that she's apparently had a nightmare.
  • Grace thinks she hears Nicolas and then Anne crying (they're in separate rooms), but after checking on them, she finds that neither was doing so (with Anne saying it was a boy named Victor).
  • Anne wakes up Nicolas to tell him that Victor (an unseen boy) has been opening the curtains. As some music plays, Anne talks to Victor (and we hear his voice as she turns her head away), all of which scares Nicolas. We then see a hand touch his face and hear him scream.
  • After hearing footsteps and other loud noises from the floor above her and then realizing that all of the hired help is outside, Grace gets nervous and slowly makes her way up the stairs as Anne states that someone is in one of the rooms. Grace then slowly enters and makes her way through the brightly lit room that contains many items covered by sheets. She then hears voices and doors open and close as scary music plays. It's a rather tense and unsettling sequence that will have many waiting for any number of "jump scenes" to occur.
  • Anne shows her mother a drawing she's made of the "people" she's seen in their house and has numbered how many times she's done so (another spooky/eerie scene).
  • Grace and the hirelings slowly make their way through the house looking for the intruders.
  • Grace finds an antique "book of the dead" that shows many black and white photos of dead people lying on beds or propped up in chairs, etc. (most look like they're sleeping, but some do look dead and the whole thing has a creepy/disturbing feel to it once we learn what it is and see dead kids, etc.).
  • Grace hears the piano playing (that no one's supposed to play) and slowly approaches the room. The music stops, however, when she touches the door handle. She then slowly goes in only to find the door closing by itself. While examining it, the door suddenly swings open quite hard and knocks her to the floor (a "jump scene"). Returning to the scene, she discovers that the piano, which she had just closed and locked, is now open once again.
  • Grace leaves the house, hoping to go through the woods to get to town (during the daytime), but finds herself in a fog bank that becomes so thick that she can't see anything, except for a figure that slowly approaches her.
  • Anne starts breathing heavily/hyperventilating at the table.
  • Grace goes over to see Anne who's seated on the floor in her communion dress with a veil over her face and finds an old woman with creepy eyes in her place (with the girl's voice). She then grabs this figure and starts choking it on the floor (it then turns back into the girl).
  • Anne wakes up, rolls over, and then screams as she realizes that all of the curtains are missing (that protect them from the sunlight).
  • Grace thinks she hears something coming from a room in the house and slowly approaches and then enters it.
  • The ending of the film, where various ghosts and revelations come out and people seem to be in harm's way, may also be unsettling, tense or scary to viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotgun: Carried by Grace in various scenes and used to fire at some ghosts (with no effect on them).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You're stupid."
  • The film could give some kids the idea to try to scare others.
  • Anne and Nicolas climb out a window and then down a downspout to get out of the house.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A door suddenly opens quite hard and knocks Grace to the floor.
  • As Anne and Nicolas hide in a closet, the door suddenly opens (seen from their point of view).
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous and scary music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 uses of "Oh my God" as exclamations (the few other religious phrases that are present - "Swear to God," "God in Heaven" and "Oh God" -- seem to be used as a direct plea/comment to God rather than as something profane/irreverent).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Grace removes her dress and we see her in her long slip that shows a bit of cleavage. Later, Charles lies behind her on the bed, nuzzles her neck, and she rolls over and they sensuously kiss with him partially on top of her (both are clothed). We then see them in bed afterwards, implying that they may have had sex.
  • SMOKING
  • We briefly see a drawing/sketch of a man with a pipe in his mouth.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Grace tells the hirelings that her husband was killed in the war a year and a half ago, but we learn that the children don't know this.
  • There's some mother/daughter tension between Grace and Anne.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether ghosts exist and houses are haunted.
  • The various clues dropped during the film that lead up to the revelation at the end (that involves someone who did something quite bad to others in the past (but we don't see the act).
  • Those who are mute.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A door suddenly opens quite hard and knocks Grace to the floor.
  • Grace goes over to see Anne who's seated on the floor in her communion dress with a veil over her face and finds an old woman with creepy eyes in her place (with the girl's voice). She then grabs this figure and starts choking it on the floor (it then turns back into the girl).
  • Grace aims a shotgun at others, demanding that they leave her house.
  • Grace fires her shotgun at several ghosts, but they just keep coming toward her.
  • We learn that some disturbing murders took place in the past, but don't see the actual act.



  • Reviewed July 12, 2001 / Posted August 10, 2001

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