The supernatural horror/haunted house subgenre has always been a great resource for frightening films that need no gore or other scary movie staples to be effective. In the late summer of 2001, "Abre Los Ojos" (trans. Open Your Eyes)-writer/director Alejandro Amenbar's "The Others" went a step further from the "bump in the night"/protagonist-slowly-investigating-a-strange-noise-clich by offering up a psychological slice of post-existentialist creep factor with a unique tale brought to bright gloom by stellar lighting/cinematography, a fantastically spooky, booming score by the director himself, and enough gasp-worthy scares, depth, and intrigue to warrant multiple viewings. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Stoker) is the short-tempered, overbearing mother of two photosensitive, highly-expressive, expertly cast Li'l Bri'ish kids (Alakina Mann and James Bentley) who gives a largely underrated performance comparable to my personal favorite of hers: "Eyes Wide Shut" (1999). Also Fionnula Flanagan (Waking Ned Devine, TV's Lost) is wonderful as the superstitious new servant. Released in the era of the M. Night Shyamalan-type twist-ending, "The Others" starts in classic form as a literal and figuratively dark but tasteful ghost story set on the isle of Jersey near the end of World War II at a misty, elegantly ominous estate but evolves into an eerie exercise in the paranormal, death, and the afterlife.
A woman with two photosensitive children lives in a dark and eerie mansion on the Channel Islands in Jersey, and after three mysterious servants arrive, she becomes convinced that the house is haunted.