Nicole Kidman, an actress I usually find unappealing, greatly impresses as a single mother living with her two photosensitive children in an old, dark house at the close of World War II. Soon after the arrival of a new house staff, her kids begin to speak of ghostly “others” in the abode (where shadows are crisper than ever on Blu-ray). At first, Kidman writes it off to childhood imagination, but she soon learns that they are indeed not alone.
Unfolding at an assured pace, “The Others” drew me in completely with its suspenseful story and expert direction upon its theatrical release, and it still does today on a fifth viewing. What makes it creepy is not what you see so much as what you hear, which was a bold move that pays off.
In fact, other than a late-in-the-game detour into “Night of the Living Dead” territory, “The Others” builds and builds to a series of shocks so well that it’s one of the best studio-made horror films of this millennium. —Rod Lott