#9: The Others 2001 Dir. Alejandro Amenábar
The Others is a quiet film that relies on unrevealed secrets and creeping dread to tell a wonderfully crafted tale about the haunting of a manor house in post World War II England. The film stars Nicole Kidman as Grace, the matriarch of the house ,who is waiting for her husband to return from war, while taking care of their two children, Ann and Nicholas. Grace's two children both have a rare condition that make it impossible for them to tolerate light. So as a trio of servants mysteriously arrive to help Grace around the house, they are instructed to make sure to keep the doors and drapes closed. Ann speaks of a young boy named "Victor", that only she can see and and through the course of the film, Grace begins to realize that the doors and drapes being left open aren't due to the negligence of the servants or her disobediant children, but instead other entities inhabiting the house. This film is has such wonderful scenes that reinforce the time period as well as the nature of the story. The often referenced and parodied scene of Ann playing on the floor while wearing a shroud is both inventive and terrifying. It is also wonderful to see modern period horror film that features an old fashioned seance. This film also does a brilliant job of creating a sense of what it means to be haunted. Grace is a haunted woman, she fears her husband will never return from the war, she fears for the safety of her children and she has buried secrets that she isn't ready to confront. The Others is an old fashioned ghost tale that uses the spirit world to inform us about human hopes and fears, and if you're someone who has patience and likes an old fashioned ghost story, than this film will certainly reward you.