The Others (2001)

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar

Grace is a religious woman who lives in an old house kept dark because her two children, Anne and Nicholas, have a rare sensitivity to light. When the family begins to suspect the house is haunted, Grace fights to protect her children at any cost in the face of strange events and disturbing visions.

The Others […] shows that denial is the real ectoplasm that binds ghost stories together, and love just the most satisfying conduit through which it might be made flesh. [Indeed,] it’s no coincidence that many of the most unsettling ghost stories ever told revolve around characters who refuse to accept that they’re in one to begin with. […] Amenábar was already deep in pre-production before he was able to see how M. Night Shyamalan beat him to the punch, and on the commentary track […] the writer-director admits that he was stricken with fear about the similarity before his producers talked him down. He needn’t have worried.

David Ehrlich