I absolutely love this film. I'm refusing to say much more about the plot because I don't want to spoil it, but it's one of the few genuinely chilling films of the last fifteen years or so. Ghost films don't seem to be privvy to the same cycles of popularity that affect other horror films, and they often crop up in ones or twos before disappearing for a few more months. I think 1999 was the last 'big' year for ghosts, with The Sixth Sense, the godawful remake of The Haunting and Stir of Echoes being the biggest names on release, so The Others had a couple of years for paranormal fever to die down.
One of the real draws of the film is its setting. Jersey is trying to reestablish its routine following the Nazi occupation in much the same way that Grace is trying to adjust to life without her husband, presumed killed in action. The costumes are gorgeous, and the constant mist outside the house helps add to the air of enclosure, and entrapment, generated throughout the film. Grace's insistence that one door must always be closed before the next is opened to ensure that no light leaks into the rooms where her children are turns the house into a strange space full of shadows and secrets. Disembodied piano playing becomes threatening, and Grace pursues the intruders with a shotgun.
It's perhaps her relationship with her children that really make the film. Child actors can be a mixed bag, but Mann and Bentley are perfect as Anne and Nicholas, hitting the right balance between sibling bickering and protectiveness to make them plausible as brother and sister. Anne's somewhat strained relationship with Grace reaches breaking point when Grace thinks Anne has been possessed by an old woman, and Nicholas becomes torn between Anne's insistence that something is wrong, and Grace's assurances that everything is fine. This is a family on the brink.
It's a wonderful film, with a delightfully creepy atmosphere, and I highly recommend it if you like things that go bump in the night...