The Others (2001)

(In theaters, September 2001) In this age of stupid big special effects, it’s easy to be seduced by a quiet little effects-free ghost story. Director Alejandro Amenábar here repeats many of the elements that made his previous film, Abre Los Ojos, such a success: A low-key approach steadily building up to a twisty conclusion, with our protagonists struggling with the acceptance of key facts. It’s not quite enough to be fully satisfying, though: Most of The Others‘ length is of such plodding, maddening pace that you’ll long once again for the snappy storytelling of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone”. For added bonus points, note how the keys motif seems to disappear midway through, and ponder how and why the film doesn’t make all that much sense once the final twist has been revealed. Oh, and wonder about the utility of the husband. Still, as mentioned previously, it’s so easy to be seduced by the quiet ones, that you never notice they’re not much better than the loud ones…

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