Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Plot: A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.
The disease the children have is an actual disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum. It is very rare with roughly a thousand people in the world that have it.
Nicole Kidman originally tried to persuade Alejandro Amenábar and the Weinstein brothers to find another actress for the part. Coming off the bright and exuberant Moulin Rouge! (2001), the actress was initially reluctant to do a film that explored such dark places.
In reality, people did photograph their deceased loved ones during the late 19th century. Most were photographed lying down, as if in a deep sleep; others would be propped up in chairs, posed with favorite objects (children with favorite playthings; adults with books or newspapers), or standing up, with the help of special frames or supports. The reason many families did so was because that would be the only photograph they would have of the family member(s) if they didn't, as photography was a rarity in the 19th Century.
The house - supposedly on the island of Jersey - is actually located in the north of Spain (Santander).
This was the first English-language film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain's national film awards), without a single word of Spanish spoken in it.
Alakina Mann and James Bentley were cast after an intensive search that encompassed 5,000 children.
Executive produced by Tom Cruise, this marked the last collaboration between him and Nicole Kidman prior to their divorce.
Nicole Kidman actually quit during rehearsals, as playing Grace gave her nightmares. "At one point I didn't want to make the film because I couldn't even go there emotionally."
To get the kids worked up, Alejandro Amenábar would play scary music when they weren't expecting it.
Was unofficially remade as Hum Kaun Hai in Hindi starring Dimple Kapadia in the lead role.
Director Alejandro Amenábar appears in one of the photographs of dead people - he's the one on the right with a moustache, of the group of three men.