The Others (Blu-ray Review)

Before there was Insidious, there was 2001’s The Others.   Of course, they are completely different stories, but they both travel down a similar road I love in my movies, that being the paranormal/supernatural one.  I could go on and on about my love for both of these films, but for today, my proverbial spotlight will be shining solely upon Lionsgate’s September 20th Blu-ray release of The Others.  And rightfully so, this film stands the test of time in my opinion.   It’s very rare that a film of this caliber, which depends almost exclusively on its one hell of a twisted ending, lends itself well to many repeat viewings.   It has been awhile since my last rendezvous with The Others, so here goes nothing.


I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I love The Others!   And for a film I thought I would just check out in 2001, simply because I believed Nicole Kidman to be hot, I couldn’t be happier with my decision in life.  After just watching it for this review, I truly believe it stands the test of time as one of the best supernatural thrillers of my generation.  I know that’s a big accusation to make, but given this is my review and you are my audience, you have to believe everything I say, right?  It’s not a perfect film, but it definitely stands out as one of my favorite “supernatural” titles of all-time.

So The Others is billed as a psychological horror flick.  I call it a supernatural thriller.  Tomato, tomatoe…I guess.  I will agree, as Nicole Kidman states in the documentary, it is psychologically frightening.  The screenplay was written and later directed by the Spanish-Chilean director Alejandro Amenábar.  It is inspired partly by the novel The Turn of the Screw.  The Others stars the incredible eyes of Nicole Kidman, obviously, and Fionnula Flanagan and Christopher Eccleston.  And oh, I forgot to mention, former Mr. Kidman (Tom Crusie) was even a producer in all this.   See what happens when a 28-year old writes a killer script?!   There’s hope for me yet!   Lol!

The Others went on to win eight Goya Awards, including awards for Best Film and Best Director.  Much to the film’s credit, this was the first English-language film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain’s national film awards), without a single word of Spanish spoken in it.  Bravo!  The Others also went on to win the Best Horror Film at the Saturn Awards, and Kidman received a Golden Globe and BAFTA nomination.  Not bad for a film that costs $17 million dollars to make and ultimately went on to yield $230 million at the international box office.   Who would have thought?

The Others tell the story of two photosensitive children (which includes the cutest little boy you have ever seen…yes, I just said that) and their mother (Kidman), who waits for her husband to return from the Second World War, and believes that her family home is haunted.  The children suffer from a very rare disease called Xeroderma Pigmentosum, which prohibits them from being touched by direct sunlight without being hurt in some very bad way (less than 1,000 cases in the real world).  They live alone, for the most part, with a very strange, oppressive and strictly religious and enforcing mother (Kidman).  Then one day, out of the blue (literally), a group of servants arrive at their doorstep.   If you think the mother is strange, wait until you get a glimpse of this trio.  Anyway, after the servants enter the home, strange events begin to occur, and one mother’s sanity quickly gets the best of her, or does it?   Is there really someone in the house with them?  Well I guess if you have never seen the film before, then I really shouldn’t go any  urther with my recap, should I?   Boo on you!  Although I do find myself curiously wondering if Mexican Blu-ray reviewer Gerard Iribe would like this movie so much if it wasn’t for its Spanish roots.  What say you, Gerard?

I usually find myself not knowing where to stop in my reviews.  In other words, I’m a very longwinded writer.   That could be bad or good.   I guess it all depends upon how you look at it.   So with this review, I think I covered everything I wanted to say about The Others.  I gave you some background information, a brief and intriguing summary and of course, my personal thoughts on the film.   Now it’s time to see how well the film presents itself on the Blu-ray format.   The disc vitals ladies and gentlemen…


The Others make their presence known on the Blu-ray format with an AVC MPEG-4 encode presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio.  I would have to admit, as much as I hate doing so, that this video presentation is not up to par with the brilliance of the film itself, but that’s okay.   It’s a ghost tale.  It’s supposed to foggy and murky, right?  In fact, Amenábar engulfed this film in a slew of fog and mist (as you will later see in the special features section).  That hazy appearance…well that’s intentional.   Unfortunately, I do have to grade on presentation merits so that’s why the score is a little lower than most titles I review on the Blu-ray format.  An unfortunate side effect of the haze is softness.   It’s not disturbing or problematic, but it’s there throughout.  So in effect, this wouldn’t be a good choice to show off the power of Blu-ray to newcomers or future adopters of the 5-year old format.  They should have it already, anyway.   LOL.  Much of our film’s story takes place in the dark.  So although the darkness does contribute to some other minor problems that are inherit to most dark films, the well-lit scenes look stellar.  It’s like they say, you can get away with problematic video if the story is stellar, and that’s exactly what we have here.  It should also be noted that there are a few white specks here and there, but hey…it’s a 2001 film!   It’s a haunting story.   It’s not supposed to be perfect.   It’s supposed to be scary…and that it is!


The Others haunt this Blu-ray disc with an eerily lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that’s not perfect, but at times…oh so close!   This one is a hard to grade.  Why?  Because for the most part, this track is bone quiet.   Whispers are frequently heard throughout making the dialogue hard to hear at times, but when Amenábar wants to startle you…wow…that subwoofer kicks in aggressively with enough ferocity to wake the dead (obviously…no pun intended).  So that’s my conundrum.   I frequently found myself struggling to hear the dialogue track, but thoroughly impressed with the atmospheric events happening all around me in the rear channels.   Now you see why this is a hard one to grade?  It’s a dynamic track that’s begging to be blasted and promises to deliver the chills.   Try it…you will like it!

Special Features 

This is the only time I wish I still had my DVD collection.   I thought I remember there being a really cool special feature that’s missing on this Blu-ray.  Oh well, I won’t lose any sleep over it.   I buy movies for the film itself, not the extras.   So with that being said, I think I filled my quota of verbiage/space here in this paragraph.  Now let’s see what we have here.

  • A Look Inside The Others (SD, 21:56) – Despite how sh!tty this standard definition presentation looks, this is a favorite of mine that I relished from its DVD glory days.  Yuck!   Did I just say that?  It’s true though.  I really enjoy watching this making of featurette.  It also contains interviews with Amenábar , Kidman and other cast members.
  • Visual Effects Piece (SD, 4:29) – This split screen featurette showcases the use of the green screen while filming and various layers of effects utilized to make the finished product.  It’s short, but interesting.
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum: What Is It?  The Story of a Family Dealing With The Disease (SD, 8:57) – If you are interested, you can meet a real family that lives and deals with this rare disease everyday.  The daughter in the family suffers from this.  It’s nothing to joke about!
  • An Intimate Look at Director Alejandro Amenábar (SD, 8:14) – Take a look at our director hard to work on the set here.  It’s brief, but a must-watch in my opinion.
  • Theatrical Trailer (SD, 2:30) –  How terrible!  Not even a 1080p trailer!

Final Thoughts 

Here’s the deal fellow Blu-ray enthusiast.  Despite the subpar video and above average audio, The Others still remains a genre classic and honestly, a necessity on the Blu-ray format.  Let’s face it, this is the best the movie has ever looked and I think you owe it to yourselves to click on the pre-order buy it now link below and get this one for an amazing low price.  It should be illegal to pick this gem of a movie up for such a low price, but thanks to the Internet (God bless the Internet) it is not.  You heard my words.  You don’t need me repeating them.  Now heed them!  Buy it now!

The Others will make themselves known on Blu-ray next Tuesday, September 20th.



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

4 Responses to “The Others (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Jiminy Critic

    I really liked this movie as well… good job, Brian!

  2. Gregg

    Great flick, awesome ending, great acting!

  3. Sean Ferguson

    This is a great movie! I wish the Blu-ray had turned out better.

  4. Justin Sluss

    I haven’t seen this in about 8 years even though I still own it on DVD. I need to wait for it to drop to cheap and pick it up on Blu. 3.5 VQ and 4 AQ is worth it to me for as you rated it, a 4.5 star flick.