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The Others  

"This Summers REAL Scary Movie"

The horror genre was in bad shape up until a few years ago. It seemed that Hollywood had lost its ability or its will to make a scary movie that relies on smarts rather than gore. We were constantly getting hit with the crappy horror films that should have gone straight to video. Then the Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project came out. The millions of dollars that those two films generated made Hollywood sit up and take notice. At the very least those films insured that we would see more films of that genre. Whether that is a good thin or a bad thing remained to be seen.

The film focuses on a Grace (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, Anne and Nicholas, shortly after World War One. The family lives in a Mansion on an island in England. The house staff has recently disappeared without a trace. She hires three new servants and begins to show them the routine of the house. Her two children have a rare allergy to bright lights so all the curtains must be closed at all times. As the staff settles in the children begin to tell them about a family of ghosts that live in the house. When Grace finds out about it she punishes them, but soon after she begins to here strange noises and finding things moved from where she has left them. She now has to figure out what is happening to her house despite her growing fears.

This is an old-fashioned spine tingling scare fest. This is largely due to the set design, lighting, editing and cinematography. These elements all combine to make one of the best creepy atmospheres that I remember. The pacing that the director sets also makes the film work. It is a bit slow paced at first but it soon puts the hook into you. I had almost as much fun watching the audience around me go from laughs and making wiseass comments to utter silence and screams towards the end.

Nicole Kidman is perfection as the "Grace Kelly-esque" mother. Watching her try to keep her grip on her sanity as slowly slips away from her was a highpoint of my summer movie season. Do not be surprised to hear her name get kicked around when the Oscar race kicks in. The rest of the cast is also very strong. Fionnula Flanagan is fantastic as Mrs. Mills. The new housekeeper who is a bit more receptive to the children's ideas of ghosts in the house than Grace is. Alakina Mann and James Bentley also add to the movies scare potential. They play the children and they don't do a great acting job for kids, they do a fantastic acting job period. The fear that they portray seems so genuine that you can't help but get scared right along with them.

If you can't guess I am recommending you see this film. It is one of the better scary movies that I have seen in a long time. There are a few jump out of your seat scenes in there that capitalizes on the tension that slowly builds throughout. The script is smart and while I guessed a few of the things that happened I was also thrown a fair share of curveballs too. Treat yourself and see it on the big screen! One a scale of 1 to 10, The Others gets a nine

Paul Ferris

Wheel Deal Review

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