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Overall Rating
4.19

Awesome54.13%
Worth A Look: 26.03%
Average: 10.33%
Pretty Bad: 3.31%
Total Crap: 6.2%

12 reviews, 170 user ratings


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by Slyder

"Stands on its Own"
5 stars

I was bashing this movie even though I hadn't seen it. Comparisons to The Sixth Sense and the plot that I read made me wonder a lot that people were being carried away simply by a Sixth Sense rip-off. That is until I accidentally bought it, thanks to those fuckers at Columbia House. It laid there with the rest of my DVDs for a long while. My dad watched it and loved it, but I never saw it, since I didnít want to and was too busy with other stuff. But then the other night I decided to watch it, so I got rid of my biases and my expectations and watched it with a clean mind. Alas, it had been a while since Iíve seen an enjoyable movie as this. I enjoyed it and I liked it, a lot, and the movie got my respect from then on.

Itís Jersey, 1945, I assume, in England. Grace (Nicole Kidman) anxiously awaits the return of her husband from World War II, along with her photosensitive children Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley). What we mean by photosensitive is that they canít be exposed to sunlight, or they would suffer pretty serious injuries that would prove fatal (as incredible as it sounds, this disease IS real, thankfully, itís rare). 3 people, headed by Ms. Bertha Mills (Fionulla Flanagan), soon arrive to the house, under somewhat mysterious circumstances, supposedly because they saw the ad that Grace needed maids for the mysteriously desolate house. Then, strange things start to happen as mysterious voices and sounds begin to terrorize the entire place. Grace thinks that itís the children actually screwing around which is getting her on her nerves, and also thinks that is probably one of the 3 people, but slowly she realizes that the house is haunted by ghosts, but what do these ghosts want? What is it that Bertha and the other 2 people are hiding? Is it really ghosts what are haunting the house, or is it something worse, that Grace is probably too blind to see?

Sounds like a Sixth Sense rip-off? Well, not exactly. Both belong to the same type of genre, but both are very different in their story infrastructures, and as you watch film youíll notice the difference. This is quite simply old-fashioned filmmaking. Spanish writer/director/composer Alejandro Amenabar throws off the use of FX as only a mere background, and concentrates the filmís source of suspense on clever lighting, music and sound (just like in Sixth Sense), as well as reliance on a strong acting lineup. Amenabarís use of music to enhance the suspense effect is quite impressive. An interesting part of the film are the scenes around Grace and her kids, where the opening and closing and locking of every door in the house is done in almost a religious way. Mix the strict religious principles of Grace along with the dark and gloomy rooms and you got yourself an interesting point, like if it were a test of faith, searching for the right path, the truth, amongst the darkness. Iím only speculating, but if you look at it in certain ways it works somewhat since Grace has gone through a lot of stuff ever since her husband Charles (Christopher Eccleston) left off to fight World War II, and had once a nervous breakdown, and now is working back into a path of working herself back together, but of course thereís a missing link for that to happen. The story and its development are engaging enough, though I must admit in certain parts it drags, but it still manages to keep your attention. All the characters are well developed and each one contains a distinct quality and/or a mystery.

The cinematography and lighting are well used in the film in several key suspense scenes while Amenabarís direction is pretty much flawless, as his screenplay. Its never over he top, and only adds whatís necessary for the film to be suspenseful enough to give you a little jump from time to time, and then to really scare the shit out of you when the time is right.

The acting is superb. 10 years of dismissing Nicole Kidman as nothing but talentless actress whose interest was to take her clothes off on camera whenever she had the chance went right out of the window. This is probably her finest performance to date (as of what Iíve seen, since Iíve yet to see Moulin Rouge). Both performances of Alakina Mann and James Bentley are fantastic considering their age, while veteran theatre actress Fionulla Flanagan is perfect in the mysterious role of Ms. Bertha Mills, the rest of the cast was also great, including Christopher Eccleston whom gives quite an interesting cameo as Graceís husband, Charles.

In the end, this film is really good, and deserves a view every now and then. I was really impressed by this film that I was ďdumbĒ enough to buy it. But it was worth it, hell yeah. Fans of the Sixth Sense will love this film, fans of suspense will love it too, and Iím sure any casual fan looking for acting movies or simply for sheer entertainment will also enjoy it too. (4.5-5)

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=5495&reviewer=235
originally posted: 01/28/03 15:45:29
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell spooky & entertaining nice if corny twist at the end 4 stars
10/07/15 brian Really?! *I'M* the only one who guessed the ending before Act I was over? I'm usually last! 2 stars
6/22/12 Dave Best horror film since Poltergeist or the Changeling 5 stars
12/29/11 David Hollingsworth A creepy masterclass in superb subtlety 5 stars
10/19/09 gal from oz wow, wow and wow. Well directed brilliant cast and little twists everywhere! Fabulous! 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. really isn't scary at all, but the story is intriguing. :D 3 stars
12/21/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 5 stars
11/30/08 Sagitelle Nice twist on an old tale 4 stars
11/16/08 Chode Horribly boring. Felt like I was sitting through a tax seminar. 1 stars
5/23/08 PAUL SHORTT COLD, DISTANCING AND MOVES AT A GLACIAL PACE 1 stars
9/08/07 ravenmad truly. this is how to tell a creepy story. And no one's guts feel out. Go figure! 5 stars
7/25/07 MP Bartley Very spooky and beautifully directed. 5 stars
5/02/07 Tony D great cast great ending great movie!!!!!! 5 stars
3/28/07 fools♫gold Like Pulp Fiction, the number of classics this film nods to is OVERWHELMING! 5 stars
2/13/07 The chode Absolutely horrible. 2 stars
1/22/07 jeannie karlsen nicole kidman is excellent in this first rate thriller, better then "the 6th sense" 5 stars
1/21/07 David A. A superb ghost story--makes you wonder what's real and what isn't. 5 stars
1/15/07 David Pollastrini didn't see that twist coming! 4 stars
9/21/06 Quigley one of the creepiest movies ever made. truly a movie worth the hype. classic ending 5 stars
8/11/06 Gisella Koroknai Engagingly creepy, intelligent, moving 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Not too bad, lots of decent twists. 3 stars
6/08/06 Peggy Doty KEPT ME GUESSING 5 stars
1/31/06 ronald mediocre when compared to the superior ''the sixth sense'' 1 stars
10/12/05 Tom Burns a very good thriller, love the ending. 5 stars
8/25/05 Anthony G so boring I had to whip out my dick to keep entertained. 1 stars
8/18/05 ES Interesting premise, makes you hope it doesn't happen to you 4 stars
8/04/05 ^podo really scary and great! 5 stars
8/01/05 TheOthersFan Beautiful and Terrifying 5 stars
7/20/05 Chris Very interesting 5 stars
6/28/05 i like eggs total bolluks 3 stars
6/28/05 Won Lung So scary I lost my breath 5 stars
6/28/05 Lewis Ball seeing as i have no penis i enjoyed it 5 stars
6/22/05 Wayne Rooney So scary I got really frightened and wet myself 1 stars
6/22/05 Bob Stains total bollukk 1 stars
6/22/05 Big dave Not scary, if you want a thrill try eating a load of vindaloos from a dodgey looking stall 1 stars
6/11/05 Rock-Steady Fucking borefest, more excitement taking a diarrhea shit 1 stars
3/25/05 indrid cold A rare thing: a horror movie that's actually scary. But just barely. 4 stars
3/23/05 Alice Colwell great movie 5 stars
2/23/05 haha when I cant sleep I just pop this movie in, great for insomniacs! 1 stars
2/20/05 John Bale Clever plot after HAUNTED, well acted and a succesful venture into the supernatural 5 stars
11/18/04 chris brilliance pure class 5 stars
11/16/04 Yvette This movie is soo awesome. It is psychologically frightening and makes you think alot 5 stars
11/07/04 nopee the scariest movie i've ever seen 4 stars
11/02/04 Derek P I thought this was the greatest movie ever 5 stars
8/04/04 TheOthersFan Beautiful, terrifying 5 stars
8/02/04 Anthony G fucking borefest, more excitement taking a diarrhea shit 1 stars
7/14/04 Daveman Beautifully photographed with some truely surreal sequences. 4 stars
4/21/04 gabriel a masterpiece !!! 5 stars
3/31/04 true review - correct review everytime great, intimate cast almost like a play, engaging plot completely opens up with twist endin 5 stars
3/15/04 Raymond great acting, clever story, awesome cinematography! 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric When I cant sleep I just pop this in.Who needs sleeping pills when u got this movie 1 stars
1/14/04 pyst haha, Kidman's performance was pathetic 3 stars
1/14/04 Richard Williams First movie I've ever seen that I WASN'T able to predict the ending. F'n GREAT! 5 stars
11/29/03 john great old fashioned ghost story and very scary 5 stars
11/07/03 eisprincess913 It was definaely different 4 stars
11/01/03 Littlepurch Gr8 film. Shame the sixth sense was made first. 4 stars
9/28/03 snowconehead It's been done before, but never better 4 stars
9/18/03 Abby I haven't had one in twenty years, but this movie gave me nightmares! 5 stars
8/27/03 Anastasia Beaverhausen Proves you don't need a drop of blood to scare 5 stars
8/17/03 Summer Psychologically frightening, which is harder than blood and guts. Entire cast is chilling. 5 stars
6/22/03 ashley i think that was the best movie i have ever seen 5 stars
5/24/03 TheOthersFan Beautiful! Terrifying! Best movie of all time! Robbed of the oscars it deserved! 5 stars
5/17/03 Joesco Over-rated - Kidman good but ending telegraphed from when Ecclestone appears 3 stars
5/11/03 Mystique good..... 4 stars
3/27/03 Jen Cool movie, but the ending seemed strangely familiar? (sixth sense) 4 stars
3/25/03 Blabity blah Nicole was great as the flighty mother. Best ending since Sixth Sence. Creepy and cold. 5 stars
2/27/03 Vangela direction is tense and claustrophobic; mirrors the plot. Cool. 4 stars
2/15/03 Chris I knew the ending and I still loved it. 4 stars
2/08/03 mr. Pink Kidman is teriffic. Beatiful and tense. Horror and drama at it's best! 5 stars
2/06/03 Rory Lawford Why don't more filmmakers do this? no overdone CGI, just perfect direction, script & actors 5 stars
2/03/03 Turtle A sad, misguided Sixth Sense rip-off which isn't at all scary. Worst movie in a LOOONG time 1 stars
1/21/03 Leanne Mullins Great ghost story. Makes you wonder about the other side 5 stars
1/12/03 Mitsaso Excellent movie and idea(Nicole was also great) 5 stars
11/02/02 pk excellent 5 stars
10/06/02 TheOthersFan Outstrips "Sixth Sense" and "Haunting" like nobody's business. Bravo, Alejandro Amenabar! 5 stars
9/29/02 Fuze44 Word to the mutha, I likes me some ghosts. 4 stars
7/23/02 Bueller I see dead people. I see lots, and lots, and lots of boring dead people. This must be Hell! 3 stars
7/21/02 Ghost Story fan classic of the genre. unsettling, & a deeply moving tragedy. one of the finest ever. 5 stars
7/09/02 Pussy D. Willow I finally understand what they mean by the most terrifying things being what you imagine... 5 stars
6/24/02 Baal I knew the ending before from imdb, but still was thrilled and entertained. Good movie! 4 stars
6/20/02 Ken Creepy, entertaining, but I saw the "twist" coming for a while. 4 stars
6/18/02 SlyyDaugg Good but not that good? My ass, I swear by this film. on my mamma. 5 stars
6/04/02 David A. Second only to DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW as a horror movie. You won't guess the ending! 5 stars
6/01/02 stud COOL 5 stars
5/31/02 Mo Anand Film was very splendidly done...takes us to the old haunted house story 5 stars
5/28/02 Film Guy Ok it was good but not that good 3 stars
5/27/02 Phoenix Wow! What a twist of an ending. Gripping from beginning to end. 5 stars
5/26/02 spyguy2 A superior film that recalls the classic haunted house movies of the 1930's and 40's. 4 stars
5/24/02 Naomi Psychologically scary with an ending that will make you want to see it twice. 5 stars
5/22/02 Danielle Ophelia Involving "thinking-person's" ghost story...so long as you've nothing against thinking. 5 stars
5/21/02 othree slow to follow at 1st, soft soken, then screaming, loved the susprise ending, Kidman = babe 4 stars
5/15/02 Stud One of the Best Horror films of this year. 5 stars
4/03/02 Mo Anand It's an old ghost story set in a modern thriller genre...I love it! 4 stars
3/26/02 Hanz no comment 4 stars
3/24/02 Brian Collins Brilliant !! A masterpiece 5 stars
2/28/02 Chowie Great film with a great twist-WICKED MATE! 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Spooky. Watch it. You'll be surprised. 4 stars
2/18/02 kitten Alright, could have been better 3 stars
2/17/02 Priscilla I loved this movie it was great 5 stars
1/16/02 David A. Second only to Dark Night of the Scarecrow as a horror film 5 stars
12/29/01 Brian Collins Brilliant !! A masterpiece 5 stars
12/15/01 Sian brillliant film and great twist at the end 5 stars
12/09/01 canoecarrier This could have been a superior film with a better director. See Polanski's "The Tenant" 3 stars
11/28/01 Hum intriguing 4 stars
11/25/01 viking "Sixth Sense" meets "Turn of the Screw" 4 stars
11/21/01 Neil One of the best movies of the year 5 stars
11/21/01 marymac Fabulous!! P-leease!--What Lies Beneath doesn't even hold a candle to this movie. 5 stars
11/21/01 WMunny ESTUPENDA 5 stars
11/20/01 Paulo Best Suspense Movie in Years 5 stars
11/17/01 FlŠvio Amaral Creepy. 5 stars
11/16/01 Sumixam disapointing to say the least, expected far more 3 stars
11/14/01 Alecia Would have been better if Sixth Sense had't alrady taken teh glorry 2 stars
11/13/01 sd Not as scary as What Lies Beneath. 3 stars
11/12/01 Beeeuuu!!! From what i understood, it was worth a look, too bad i had to see it in italian 4 stars
11/10/01 jawsboy not scary, but entertaining. good cinematography and acting, however a little disjointed. 4 stars
11/09/01 Button Nice old fashioned thriller 4 stars
11/09/01 Belinda Nicole's finest movie to date. What a talent she has become. 4 stars
11/09/01 Matthew Bartley A fine,fine thriller in the vein of Hitchcock 5 stars
11/07/01 Luisa Ramos One of the best movies of the recent years 5 stars
11/06/01 Carlos The others (the best of the year..) 5 stars
11/06/01 Bueller Who ever knew suspense could be so boring? This was like BBC does "The Sixth Sense" BADLY.. 2 stars
11/03/01 daniboy far better than sixth sense 5 stars
11/02/01 Catherine Schneider A suspense/thriller that actually thrills. 5 stars
11/02/01 cherilyn It was fantastic. I was completely hooked from the beginning. It has a wonderful twist! 5 stars
11/01/01 Lucila Cejas a completely unpredictable movie with a great performance by Nicole Kidman 5 stars
10/30/01 carla sanchez it was long...and dark...and darkly long and wait, was this the sequel to the sixth sense? 3 stars
10/10/01 GIBBO Just wonderful - from start to finish ... Nicole was fabulous 5 stars
10/08/01 Mark Davidson The best film of 2001 (along w/Memento); a brilliant, haunting, old-fashioned ghost story. 5 stars
10/04/01 zach this shit ruled, i cant remember the last time my leg hair was standing up 5 stars
9/26/01 M.C.A.S Good 4 stars
9/24/01 sharon loved it but the ending was to much like the 6th sense 4 stars
9/24/01 Koitus One of the better movies I've seen. I guessed the ending, when the husband showed, though. 4 stars
9/22/01 mjm103171 I liked the story line but it wasn't scary 4 stars
9/20/01 Studmaster Pretty bitching, but the view of the afterlife is very depressing. Puts me in the dumper! 4 stars
9/19/01 Gary I found it really boring... 2 stars
9/18/01 Fish Eye Good suspense movie. Gets slow for about 20 minutes though 4 stars
9/17/01 Alejandr Dorado La mejor pelŪcula del aŮo. Incluso mejor que 6th Sense. 5 stars
9/09/01 Deanna Long Suffers from comparison to 6th Sense, Doesn't obey any internal logic Beautiful to look at. 2 stars
9/06/01 Randy J. Redmond YAWN! 6th Sense rip-off w/PREDICTABLE twist! Fucking BAD! 1 stars
9/05/01 Jim Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz *huh* did something happen yet? No? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 3 stars
9/05/01 Unanon Too much Sixth Sense flavor, but nice suspense buildup. Almost worth it. 4 stars
9/01/01 pey really great story. it will change your paradigm of death. 5 stars
8/31/01 spaceworm it grows on you. the housekeepr is terrific 4 stars
8/28/01 Bueller Good movie, despite Kiddman. Suspenseful, but should have been better written. Predictable. 4 stars
8/28/01 mara z. great. 5 stars
8/27/01 empaler sweet 4 stars
8/24/01 Hotaine After the intense boredom I discovered I'd just watched "The Sixth Sense" 1 stars
8/23/01 Baphomet If u liked The Sixth Sense, u'll love this, cuz it's exactly the same... 4 stars
8/22/01 seldom scene suspense, see it in an uncrowded theatre 5 stars
8/20/01 G-Man Whoever wrote this is a fucking genius! 5 stars
8/19/01 Kassidy Damien if you're looking for a scary movie this is a good one 4 stars
8/18/01 vampyre9mm If A&E made a ghost movie, this would be it.... still pretty creepy. 4 stars
8/18/01 nik wicked 5 stars
8/16/01 Faith I loved this movie. Whoever said it was a piece of shit obviously saw a different film. 5 stars
8/16/01 Craig Alan Thompson A new twist on an old style. I loved it. 5 stars
8/15/01 da3dAlus Saw it last night, and I still get goosebumps this morning thinking about it. 5 stars
8/15/01 Heather Very, very scary 5 stars
8/15/01 Fred In the immortal words of Bill Hicks -- PIECE OF SHIT! 1 stars
8/14/01 Jerrrr Moving, beautiful, haunting, wonderfully acted/directed, and just plain SCARY!!!!!!! 5 stars
8/14/01 Zippernek Good subtle spooking with a smattering of in your face pants crapping. Jammin good time. 5 stars
8/14/01 Kurt Huber This is what you go to a theater for 4 stars
8/14/01 puckfreak The ending is a total rip-off of another "thriller" movie 2 stars
8/13/01 Dr. Laura Is A Bitch (Doo dah, doo dah) Scared the crap out of me. The ending is sweet. 5 stars
8/13/01 Greyjack Excellent. Actually sent a woman fleeing from the theater at the showing I attended. 5 stars
8/12/01 toneely cool movie!!! 5 stars
8/12/01 fg long, drawn out and boring, but good ending 2 stars
8/12/01 E-Funk Thrilling, hypnotic and scary as hell! This is Kidman's best performance. 5 stars
8/12/01 Bill H. Very Good! It's your classic ghost film with a very interesting twist at the end 4 stars
8/11/01 malcolm great stuff -- a million times better than any of the "Scream" films 4 stars
8/11/01 Heather Very creepy and scary movie, don't see this movie alone 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Aug-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  08-Nov-2001




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