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The Others

The Others film poster
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar
Produced by Fernando Bovaira
José Luis Cuerda
Written by Alejandro Amenábar
Starring Nicole Kidman
Alakina Mann
Christopher Eccleston
Fionnula Flanagan
Elaine Cassidy
James Bentley
Eric Sykes
Music by Alejandro Amenábar
Cinematography Javier Aguirresarobe
Editing by Nacho Ruiz Capillas
Distributed by United States
Dimension Films
Warner Sogefilms
Release date(s) United States
August 2, 2001
September 7, 2001
United Kingdom
November 2, 2001
November 8, 2001
Running time 104 min.
Country Spain
United States
Language English
Budget $17,000,000
Gross revenue Worldwide

The Others is a 2001 psychological thriller film by the Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, starring Nicole Kidman, and in part based on Henry James' classic, The Turn of the Screw[citation needed].

It won eight Goya Awards including awards for Best Film and Best Director. This was the first English spoken film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain's national film awards), with not a single word of Spanish spoken in it.



The scene is set in the British Crown Dependency of Jersey, in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) is a Catholic mother who lives with her two small children in a remote country house. The children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), have an uncommon disease characterized by photosensitivity (a special feature on the DVD indicates the disease is xeroderma pigmentosum), so their lives are structured around a series of complex rules designed to protect them from inadvertent exposure to sunlight.

The new arrival of three servants at the house—an aging nanny and servant named Mrs. Bertha Mills (Fionnula Flanagan), an elderly gardener named Mr. Edmund Tuttle (Eric Sykes), and a young mute girl named Lydia (Elaine Cassidy)—coincides with a number of odd events, and Grace begins to fear that they are not alone. Anne draws pictures of four people: a man, a woman, a boy called Victor and a scary old woman, all of whom she says she has seen in the house. A piano is heard from inside a locked room when no one is inside. Every time Grace enters and exits the room the door closes, but while she tries to figure out why, the door slams in her face knocking her to the floor. Grace tries hunting down the "intruders" with a shotgun but cannot find them. She scolds her daughter for nonsense about ghosts until she hears them herself. Eventually convincing herself that something unholy is in the house, she runs out in the fog to get the local priest to bless the house. Meanwhile, the servants, led by Mrs. Mills, are clearly up to something of their own. The gardener buries a headstone under autumn leaves, and Mrs. Mills listens faithfully to Anne's allegations against her mother.

Out in the forest, Grace loses herself in the heavy fog, but miraculously discovers her husband Charles (Christopher Eccleston), who she thought had been killed in the war, and brings him back to the house. Charles is distant during the one day he spends in the house, and Mrs. Mills is heard telling Mr. Tuttle "I do not think he knows where he is." Grace later sees the old woman from Anne's drawing dressed up like her daughter. Grace says "You are not my daughter!" and attacks her. However, she finds that she has actually attacked her daughter instead. Anne refuses to be near her mother after this event, while Grace swears she saw the old woman. Mrs. Mills tells Anne that she too has seen the people but they cannot yet tell the mother because Grace will not accept what she is not ready for. Charles is stunned when Anne tells him the things her mother did to her. Charles says he must leave for the front and disappears again. After Charles leaves, Anne continues to see things, including Victor's whole family and the old woman. Grace breaks down to Mrs. Mills, who claims that "sometimes the world of the dead gets mixed up with the world of the living". The two women also find and examine a 'book of the dead,' which shows mourning portraits taken in the 19th century of recently deceased corpses.

Los Hornillos Palace in Arenas de Iguña, Cantabria (Spain). Mansion where the exteriors of the movie were filmed.

One morning, Grace wakes to the children's screams: all of the curtains in the house have disappeared, as Anne had said they might earlier in the movie. When the servants refuse to help look for them, Grace realizes that they are somehow involved. Hiding the children from the light, she banishes the servants from the house.

That night, Anne and Nicholas sneak out of the house to find their father, and stumble across the hidden graves. They find that the graves belong to the servants. At the same time, Grace goes to the servants' quarters and finds a photograph from the book of the dead and is horrified to see that it is of the three servants. The servants appear and give chase to the children, who make it back into the house just as Grace emerges to hold off the servants with a shotgun. The children run upstairs where they hide, but are found by the strange old woman. Downstairs, the servants continue talking to Grace, telling her that they have to learn to live together. She begins to understand what they mean. Upstairs, Anne and Nicholas discover the old woman is acting as a medium in a séance with Victor's parents. It is then that they learn the awful truth: the old woman is not the one who is a ghost; the ghosts are Anne, Nicholas and their mother, who is believed to have smothered them in a fit of psychosis, before ending her own life. Grace loses her temper and supernaturally attacks the visitors. This sequence is quickly intercut with scenes from both Grace's viewpoint and the family's.

The truth is finally clear to Grace and the audience. She breaks down with the children and remembers what happened just before the arrival of their new servants. Yearning for the company of her missing husband and increasingly frustrated by her children, she went insane, smothered them both with a pillow and then, realizing what she had done, shot herself. When she awoke, she assumed that God had granted her family a miracle. Grace and the children realize that Charles is also dead, but he was not aware of this fact. Mrs. Mills appears and informs Grace that they will learn to get along, and sometimes they won't even notice the living people who inhabit their house. Despite her earlier loathing of the house, referring to it as a prison, Grace states that "No one can make us leave this house". From the window, Grace and her children look outside as Victor's family—less than happy with their haunted house—pack up and move out.

Box office performance

The film was released August 10, 2001 in 1,678 theatres in the United States and Canada and grossed $14 million its opening weekend, ranking 4th at the box office. It stayed in 4th for 3 more weeks, expanding to more theatres. During the weekend of September 21-23, it was the #2 film at the box office, grossing $5 million in 2,801 theatres.[1] The film, which cost $17 million to produce, eventually grossed $96.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $113.4 million in other countries, for a worldwide total gross of $209.9 million.[2]


On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 143 reviews.[3] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 74 out of 100, based on 29 reviews.[4]


In pop culture

Scary Movie 3 includes parodies of scenes from the film.

Australian Band Elora Danan wrote a song about the film called "Thank God For Their Growth In Faith And Love" (a line seen on the children's blackboard in a later scene) which was a track on their debut EP We All Have Secrets.

Electronic music artist Venetian Snares uses a sample from the film in the song "Children's Limbo" on the album Find Candace.

See also


External links

Preceded by
El Bola
Goya Award for Best Picture
Succeeded by
Mondays in the Sun

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