How The Others Used Other Horror Classics To Make A Hit

How The Others Used Other Horror Classics To Make A Hit

HOW THE OTHERS USED OTHER HORROR CLASSICS TO MAKE A HIT

Creepy horror classic THE OTHERS, starring Nicole Kidman, is one of the most successful and critically acclaimed horror films of all time – Empire called it “a haunting, imaginative shocker which is likely to rattle around in your brain for days after”.

To celebrate its release on 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD on 2nd October, here’s a look at the seven vital ingredients director Alejandro Amenábar combined from other hit horrors to come up with his own unique, terrifying success.



CHOOSE A GHOSTLY SETTING

In Robert Wise’s film ghostly masterpiece The Haunting (1963), the oppressive mansion Hill House is a star of that film as much as the actors, where all manner of scares lurk in the nooks and crannies. For family estate in THE OTHERS, where Nicole Kidman is the governess, Amenábar used a suitably spooky Spanish mansion for the exterior of the house, shrouded in mist and filled with foreboding. 

USE CHILD ACTORS

There’s nothing like putting a child actor in your film to crank up the unsettling atmosphere – for example, the brilliantly cast Harvey Stephens in The Omen ensured that film gave the audience sleepless nights, and made it a huge box office hit. In THE OTHERS, Alakina Man and James Bentley play pivotal roles as Kidman’s children, and are central to the film’s most terrifying moment.

HAVE A STRONG LITERARY INFLUENCE

When The Exorcist (1973) burst onto the scene and changed the horror landscape forever, it did so with the solid foundation of a superb book, William Peter Blatty’s brilliant novel about demonic possession. Although not an actual adaptation, THE OTHERS drew heavily on Henry James’ classic novella The Turn of the Screw, about a governess, plagued by strange goings on in a large house, who has a fear of “The others”.

GUARANTEE SOLID SCARES

For his undisputed horror masterwork Psycho (1960), director Alfred Hitchock worked painstakingly – using 78 camera set ups and 52 edits – to make the celebrated shower sequence just right, so that it delivered shock after shock and became instantly unforgettable. In possibly the scariest scene in THE OTHERS, where the two children are hiding in a wardrobe, Amenábar expertly builds the tension to breaking point, and then unleashes a shock moment to end them all. Hitch would’ve been proud!

ADD MEMORABLE MUSIC

Steven Speilberg knew that his meg-hit monster movie Jaws (1976) needed some spine-tingling music to make it more than just another creature feature, and so he enlisted composer John Williams, who would win an Oscar for his memorable and much-imitated score. For THE OTHERS, director Amenábar himself composed the score, a wonderfully evocative soundtrack filled with lush strings and ethereal voices, ensuring immediate goosebumps.

UTILISE STAR POWER

M. Night Shyamalan managed to persuade A-list megastar Bruce Willis to take a break from action thrillers to star in what would become a box office sensation – The Sixth Sense (1999). Willis got audiences into the cinema, and the film kept them glued to their seats! For THE OTHERS, Amenábar got Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman to star, which proved a tremendous boost for its box office. It nearly wasn’t to be – Kidman is rumoured to have wanted to quit the film, as she was so disturbed by the script (after all, she’d just completed the jaunty and colourful musical Moulin Rouge!).

HAVE AN AMAZING TWIST ENDING

If you haven’t already seen the film, the less said about this perhaps the better, but suffice to say, like the cult horror classic The Wicker Man (1999), the film pulls the rug out from under the audience in the final reel. It meant it was hard to properly discuss the film without spoiling it for others, but it ensured people flocked to the cinema to find out what all the fuss was about.

THE OTHERS IS RELEASED ON 4K UHD, BLU-RAY AND DVD 2nd OCTOBER

Order today: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CCX2XH9G


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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