The others: Alejandro Amenabar reinvents the film of ghosts

Nicole Kidman is scared, this evening on Arte.

Arte will rebroadcast at 8:50 p.m. Othersthe third feature film by the Chilean-born Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenabar (then watch men, by Zack Snyder, at 10:35 p.m.). Released in theaters in 2001, it is a distant adaptation of the nut turn of Henry James. The film marks Amenabar’s first collaboration with a Hollywood star, and not just any since it’s Nicole Kidman.

Co-produced with the Weinstein Company and Tom Cruisestill at the time the husband of the actress, Others is a tribute to genre cinema inspired by classics like Innocents of Jack Clayton (itself already adapted from the short story by James), very influenced by the cinema ofAlfred Hitchcock whose specter hovers above this anxiety-inducing and breathless thriller. The combination of the talents of the Spanish director and the Hollywood actress would ultimately prove to be the keystone of the film’s success, as Première wrote upon its theatrical release: “They (Kidman and the children) are the candles of the film and guide the spectator step by step towards a third world whose powerful evocation alone sums up the identity of this thriller: limbo“.

Remained famous for its gothic atmosphere and for its virtuoso twist, Others remains one of the most resounding successes of Iberian cinema in recent years. In France, more than a million and a half spectators flocked to the dark rooms while the film garnered more than 200 million dollars internationally. Consecrated by seven Goyas, Others marked the consecration of the talent ofAlejandro Amenabarfilmmaker obsessed with death in all its forms, already present in his first two films, Tesis and Open your eyes.

The Others: a remake of the film with Nicole Kidman in preparation

Others also marks a key date in the history of Spanish horror cinema, destined to become one of the most influential and prolific in the years that followed. By securing the services of a huge Hollywood star and obtaining financing from Hollywood (the film is the first in the history of Goyas, the local Césars, to be named without a single word in Spanish be pronounced), The Others has given a spotlight on the pool of Spanish filmmakers specializing in horror or fantasy cinema and who have since obtained visibility abroad as Juan Antonio Bayona, Paco Plaza Where Jaume Balaguero.

In the wake of the film, Spain even becomes a land of welcome, notably hosting the shooting of The Devil’s Spine Mexican Guillermo del Toro. Years later, the Argentinian Andres Muschietti will also come to Spain to carry out his momworn by another Hollywood star, Jessica Chastain. And after having rotated Rachel Weisz in Agora, Alejandro Amenabar returned to this horror genre with Regressionwhose Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke are the title roles. But above all, Others has by its way of approaching its theme, opened the way to a whole fashion for ghost film, which is embodied in particular by the film and the Canal+ series of the same name. Dealing above all with the question of mourning, guilt, coexistence between the living and the dead and appearances, the film revitalizes a sub-genre and marks its generation through its work on slowness, silence and suspension, of character which detonate the traditional jump scares of horror cinema and which contributed to making the reputation of a film which, fifteen years later, has lost none of its visual force.

The story of Others : On the island of Jersey, in 1945, a young woman, Grace, awaits the return of her husband, gone to the war. She lives alone in an isolated mansion, lost in the misty moor, taking care of her two photophobic children, suffering from an incurable genetic disease. One morning, three strange characters appear out of nowhere, Bertha Mills, Edmund Tuttle and Lydia, a young mute girl. Grace, whom her servants had abandoned a few weeks earlier, agrees to hire them. Bunch of keys in hand, she shows them the place, gives them the orders – double lock all the doors, caulk the windows so that the children never see this light which could be fatal to them -, then introduces them to her daughter, Anne, and her son, Nicholas…

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