31 Days of Halloween Day 16: The Others

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Only 15 days until Halloween!

Throughout the month of October I’ll be posting once a day with something to get you into the Halloween spirit, including movie and book reviews, real haunted places, occult topics and more. Come back each day and join in the fun!

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Back when I was in college I took a literature and film class. It was fascinating, but I constantly had to tell roommates that I was watching movies as part of my homework, not just for the fun of it. We would read a book and watch the movie adaptation, then use class time to talk about the differences, whether they worked and what could have been improved.

One of the books we read was A Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and then we watched The Others. Unfortunately, the movie was passed up by many when it came out for reasons I don’t remember or even care about now, because it quite simply is a masterpiece. I don’t say that about many movies, but director Alejandro Amenabar does an exceptional job of creating a chilling atmosphere, then weaving the plot in such a way to meticulously build tension, all without resorting to any cheap jump-scares.

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Also noteworthy, Amenabar composed the score, which is excellent (I included two tracks from it on my Halloween 2015 playlist).

Without ruining anything (because the ending of The Others is superb) here is a brief plot setup. A mother (played by Nicole Kidman) lives in an old mansion with her two children, who are both photosensitive. That means even in the daytime the parts of the house the kids are in has to be completely dark, which makes for a spooky atmosphere. The children believe the house is haunted and apparently aren’t the only ones, because the servants take off in the middle of the night and don’t return.

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Three new servants arrive at the house, but it becomes clear to the mother that there’s something the new help isn’t telling. Paranormal activity in the mansion escalates, with much of it targeting the children. Like I said, the ending is one you won’t forget for a while, making it a true masterpiece and the perfect kind of movie for the Halloween season.

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Have you seen The Others?

Ever lived in a haunted house?

Leave a comment below and join in the Halloween fun! We still have ­­­­­­15 more posts to go this month, so come back and see what else I have in store.

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