New On Netflix: The Others

Published:12:41 pm EDT, November 21, 2011| Updated:12:44 pm EDT, November 21, 2011|
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A creepy fable from director Alejandro Amenabar (whose twisted sci-fi love story, Abre Los Ojos, served as the basis for Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky), The Others stars Nicole Kidman as a mother living in a large isolated mansion with her two extremely photosensitive children; as they await the return of her husband upon the aftermath of World War II, they come to suspect that their house is haunted (and it is‚ just not in the way they think). The Others isn't so much a horror film as it is a sometimes overwhelmingly sad fairy tale of sorts; while its melancholy tone sometimes gets the better of it, it remains an engrossing and fascinating yarn, with Amenabar maintaining a sense of mystery and dread as the story slowly unfolds, Kidman delivering a strong mama-lion performance and Fionnula Flanagan stealing the show as the new maid who seems to know a lot more about this strange situation than she lets on. The film's final revelation isn't so much shocking (or unexpected) as it is tragically inevitable; it also doesn't make or break everything that came before it, as is so often the unfortunate case with twist endings.

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