This fantastic thriller and an offbeat horror, without resorting to any horror tropes, maintains a spook factor, keeps you on the edge and trumps you with an unexpected climax in a brilliant psychological twist.
Director/Writer – Alejandro Amenabar
Cast – Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Alakina Mann, James Bentley
Grace (Kidman) lives a lonely life in a desolate mansion caring for her two photosensitive kids, Anne and Nichole, waiting for her husband who hasn’t returned from the war.
When Mrs. Mills (Flanagan) and her family join as the helping staff, they are surprised to see the tough life Grace lives shielding her kids from sunlight. But there are things even more abnormal. There’s a past that the kids are hiding. There’s a child that Nichole sees and no one else does.
Soon Grace also starts feeling some presence. But now she doubts the intention of this family who seem to be hiding some past themselves.
What is the past both families are harbouring ?
The story hits the ground running. Within the first 10 min, we have been introduced to all its mysterious characters and to the mansion, it’s intrigue, their lifestyle, its weirdness and Grace’s angst.
There is an air of mystery and spook through out.
The dark atmospherics and the period setting enhances the feel.
Grace’s circmustances and the kids’ plight pull at your heart. The loneliness and gloom just gets to you.
Kidman is so convincing as the disturbed woman in exceptional circumstances who is trying to hold fort. She makes you feel for her.
Flanagan is equally brilliant in portraying the propriety and mystery around Mrs. Mills by giving various colours to her character, she keeps you guessing.
The fantastic unexpected climax made me rewind the film to the very first scene and revisit many portions once again.
It also left me pondering, and you’ll have to watch this one to know what .
This critically acclaimed film is must watch for the lovers of this genre.
It might be languorous at places, but keeps you hooked, intrigued and spooked. And of course the climax is its trump card.