read another review of The Others
The Others is that incredible rarity: a horror movie that's actually scary. Even while teetering on the edge of cliché - dour servants, menacing fog, a big empty house - writer and director Amenábar draws us into a claustrophobic, meticulously detailed world. Post-war Jersey, famously decimated by occupying forces, is a convincingly desolate location, and the family's devout Catholicism provides a background against which otherworldly visitations and eternal punishments seem all too real. And there's at least one real drop-your-popcorn-and-scream-out loud moment...
If you have any experience with this kind of movie, you will guess the twist, which may lead to a slight frustration with the middle section of the film. Yet when the final revelation comes, you're so caught up in what it means to these characters, and their extraordinary, tragic reaction to it, that the plot transcends all familiarity. After a couple of tremendous Spanish films (Open Your Eyes in particular being far superior to the remake, Vanilla Sky Amenábar has thankfully relocated to Hollywood with his talent intact. Expect great things from him.