[MOVIE REVIEW]Quiet chiller will haunt you

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[MOVIE REVIEW]Quiet chiller will haunt you

Rather than the obvious route most scary movies take these days, bombarding you with blood-curdling scenes of murderers holding well-sharpened knives, stalking their victims, "The Others" overwhelms with a quiet layering of tranquil dread.

Alejandro Amenabar, a 29-year-old Spanish director, has been called the reincarnation of Alfred Hitchcock because of his notable ability to scare audiences. His 1997 film "Open Your Eyes" was recently remade as "Vanilla Sky," starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz. His latest work, "The Others," is to be released Jan. 11 in Korea.

During the whole running time, there is neither blood nor knives, but the movie's ever-building suspense is intense enough to make viewers scream and gasp. You know that something is about to happen, and the anxiety of waiting for it to occur is actually greater than seeing it happen.

Nicole Kidman is Grace, a woman trying to raise two children, Anne and Nicholas, alone in a creepy, huge mansion much too big for just three people. Her children are deathly allergic to light, so the three of them lead eerie lives in the quiet and darkness. A devoted Christian, Grace disciplines her children strictly, to the point of hysteria; Anne is sure that her mother is mad.

The vast house is the focus of the dread. Howls and creaking doors can be heard from throughout the mansion. Grace's three servants believe the building is haunted, and they try to convince Grace that she needs to live in harmony with the dead, for that is the way it has always been.

Grace will hear no such talk of spirits and hauntings, but things keep happening that cannot be rationally explained. Even Anne insists that she talked to a ghost.

With the constant motion of the cameras and the gripping acting performances, the intensity of the film gradually builds to a terrifying climax (be careful to keep a distance from those who already saw the film so they don't spill the beans).

The most outstanding of several noteworthy aspects of the film is Kidman's acting. With her conservative, almost Victorian-style costumes, viewers are not allowed to have a look at Kidman's porcelain-white beauty. Kidman, however, looks even more elegant and beautiful in the black, constraining costume, complete with Bible in her hand, than in the gaudy red she wore in "Moulin Rouge."

by Chun Su-jin

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