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The Others: What The Upcoming Remake Must Do To Be Successful

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The 2001 psychological supernatural horror movie The Others is getting a remake, though fans of the original movie might not think it needs one — how could the new movie be as successful as the first? The 2001 movie—an English-language Spanish film written, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar—is set in 1945 in the immediate aftermath of World War II. It stars Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart, the widowed mother of two young children—Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley)—who have an allergy to the light. The Stewart family lives in a large, dark house in Jersey on the British countryside, which is shrouded in fog and isolated from society. The family comes to believe their home is haunted, though the famous twist ending changes their perceptions.

In early April 2020, it was reported that The Others was getting a remake; Sentient Entertainment had gotten the rights to the project, which was a critical hit upon its initial release in 2001. In October 2020, Deadline reported that Sentient had partnered up with Universal Pictures for the remake. Sentient's Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin will produce the movie alongside Aliwen Entertainment's Lucas Akoskin; Cerezo will executive produce alongside Rud and Miller Way's Michael and Jenny Miller, and Sara Scott will oversee the project on Universal's behalf.

As of now, it's unclear how much the remake of The Others will take from its source material, though it has been stated that this version of the story won't be a "carbon copy" of the original. Instead, it will be set in the present day rather than the 1940s. The Gothic, post-war setting of the original movie, though, is arguably what provided The Others with its dark, eery ambiance and old-fashioned, somber tone. Plus, in the movie, the Stewart family is cut off from society, largely thanks to their lack of technology. So how would a modern-day version work, and how can a remake be successful?

A remake of The Others is arguably unnecessary, as the 2001 movie was such a successful project that can certainly continue to be enjoyed by viewers today. Plus, the original movie boasts an extremely memorable and shocking twist — will viewers still watch the remake if they remember that ending? If a remake must happen, it should at least abide by certain guidelines. If The Others remake will modernize the story, for example, it must decide whether or not the family will have access to technology. Will the internet, phones, and computers play a role in the movie? If not, the story must address why the family doesn't have these things in detail, and find ways to make their reasoning make sense. Horror movies often make mistakes where technology is concerned; The Others remake will have to be creative in getting around this subject, or find ways to make it advantageous to the new narrative.

Moreover, while the remake of The Others won't directly copy the original, it shouldn't alter the family dynamic too much, either. The 2001 movie did an apt job in examining the complex relationships between a grief-stricken mother and her two confused young children. A modern re-telling could take another stab at this, and further explore the characteristics of the children and their relationship with their mother. Perhaps a remake could change certain things, like shifting the story's location to a setting viewers are more familiar with, though it should still be in an isolated place.

There are plenty of ways to create an isolated setting in a modern world, and if the mother has reason to disconnect herself and her children from the world, that could work within the confines of a different setting. The filmmakers have stated that they'll keep the themes of isolation and paranoia apparent in The Others remake, as the timeliness of these elements will appeal to today's viewers. Still, it's hard to say whether this project will come close the success of the acclaimed original, which still holds up with age.
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