The Armchair Squid to see what everyone else chose.
My Pick is "The Others" from 2001
This film seriously freaked me out..it doesn't take much because I am a wuss. It stars Nicole Kidman and the wonderful Fionnula Flanagan in a great ghost story set during World War 2 (or is it??). Nicole plays Grace Stewart, a mother of 2 young children who both have a very rare disease that makes them photosensitive, in other words, they get 3rd degree burns from just being in the sun for a couple of minutes. Her husband is away at War and she is in this large home on an island off of England. 3 servants come to help out the young mom who has her hands full with keeping her children safe from the daylight. Strange things happen, the little girl seems to know more than she is letting on and we see poor Grace become more and more...tense.
There are no huge special effects...and truly it is not needed to achieve the isolation, fear and despondence that this film portrays. It is intelligent...how about that! The home is surrounded by fog and when Grace tries to walk to the nearby village the fog rolls in leaving her disoriented. Oops..I veered into some stream of consciousness....:)
There is a scene, near the end, that put me on the edge of my seat and totally freaked me out...that's all I will say. What I find wonderful about this film, aside from the acting, even the kids are great, is how minimalist it truly is in any effects. I have seen other films (That horrible remake of The Haunting with Liam Neeson comes to mind) where cgi and shock attack plays high rather than, um, how should I say...oh yes..Great writing!
If you haven't seen this film, see it because I did and, don't worry, no kid is coming out of any TV ready to stretch your face into something disgusting. This film keeps you on your toes and makes you think plus you learn a little bit about the lives of children with this dreadful disease. I give it a solid 8.5 out of 10.