Sati's movie rating - 93/100
Plot: A woman named Grace (Nicole Kidman) retires with her two children to a mansion on
Jersey, towards the end of the Second World War, where she's waiting for
her husband to come back from battle. The children have a disease which
means they cannot be touched by direct sunlight without being hurt in
some way. They live alone there with oppressive, strange and
religious rules, until she needs to hire a group of servants for them.
Their arrival will accidentally begin to break the rules with unexpected
The heroes: Profoundly sad and lonely Grace, determined to keep her children safe.
The antagonists: Unseen intruders who open and close the doors, hide the curtains and seem to be wandering around the house.
What makes it so great?
The movie is an old school horror taking place in the haunted house, with strange and creepy noises being heard whenever someone is going upstairs, wind howling outside and the misty forest surrounding the mansion. The film features powerful work from Nicole Kidman which for me is her second best performance, right after To Die For. Kidman looks like one of Hitchcock's frightened blondes here, but she is nothing but defenseless.
Best scene: The scene in the attic, where Grace is frantically taking down the curtains.
Oh-oh something's not right line: -You told your brother there was someone else in the room. - There was!
Morbid Trivia: In reality, people did photograph their deceased loved ones during the
late 19th century. Most were photographed lying down, as if in a deep
sleep; others would be propped up in chairs, posed with favorite objects
(children with favorite playthings; adults with books or newspapers),
or standing up, with the help of special frames or supports.
Scare factor: - 3/5 evil pumpkins - the film is very atmospheric and has a few of very effective jump scares. It's also splendidly shot and it features wonderful score that makes you think something will happen and then nothing does - it builds up the suspense at times fooling you into thinking the major scares are coming, while its in the silence that some of the most frightening scenes occur.
Gore factor:- 1/5 bloody Leatherfaces - there's no gore here, but the subject matter and especially the movie's twist and the back story it unveils are quite disturbing.
Is there a twist? Yes.
Hint: Watch in total silence, late at night.
Unsuitable for: People living in old house, or close to the graveyard.
Repercussions: Inability to look at old photographs.