Others, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -4

On the fog-shrouded Isle of Jersey off the English coast in 1945, Grace (Nicole Kidman) lives in a Victorian country mansion waiting for her husband to return from the war. After the sudden disappearance of her servants, Grace is relieved by the arrival of Bertha Mills (Fionunula Flanagan) and her two companions. Claiming to be former caretakers of the manse, the three help Grace care for her children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley). Because of the childrens sensitivity to light, Grace keeps doors shut and curtains drawn to protect them. But strange events begin to occur and Anne confesses to seeing a strange boy in the house. Reluctant to believe in ghosts because of her religious beliefs, Grace must eventually face the truth about supernatural encounters. Strong performances as Kidman and Flanagan counter each others emotions, as well as scenes that play with viewers imagination and the startling twist ending, lift this film above the mediocre horror story.

On the surface, there are many things that appear positive in the film. Grace, while strict, loves her children and teaches them from the Bible, preparing them for their first communion. Bible verses and stories are quoted as well as references to Catholic traditions such as levels of punishment in Hell. Grace tells a scared Nicholas that prayer will create no reason for fear. Facing the possibility of supernatural forces, Grace wants the village priest to visit and bless the rooms. And as she faces a scary moment, Grace recites the Lord’s Prayer. However, Ann tells Mrs. Mills that Grace expects them to be skeptical about what they read elsewhere, but believe what they read in the Bible. This equates the Bible with works of fiction. Mrs. Mills also comments that Grace only believes what she’s been taught, further casting doubt upon Grace’s religious beliefs. Although the curtains eventually let light into the house and a truth is revealed, the story negates everything Grace understood about the afterlife. Although the film is virtually free of foul language and sexual content, the story assaults Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, by implying the beliefs are fictional traditions.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Dimension Films (Miramax/Disney), 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Few times -Exclamatory (OMG, OG)

Violence: Few times - Moderate (door knocks woman down, choke and shake girl, shotgun fired at ghosts)

Sex: Implied once (married couple in bed)

Nudity: Near Nudity - Few times (woman in slip, head & shoulder shot implies nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Comments and kiss on neck lead to implied act

Drugs: None

Other: Bible quoted frequently, comments about Catholic rituals and teachings, Lords Prayer recited, woman comments that children will believe first, photo book of dead people, comment about grief causing people to do strange things, implies Bible is fiction/ no heaven, seance performed

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.