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I watched the movie The Others recently, and I was blown away by the ending and the story. I was thinking about this plot element which didn't make much sense to me. It's about the return of the husband of Nicole Kidman's character. I am assuming that plot element employed by the director is that The husband's spirit, after his death, was looking for a way to reach his family, and he even says that dialogue implying that he was searching for their house for a long time in the fog.

What I really don't understand is if his spirit wanted to be with his family, why does he leave them? I am assuming that during his confused state he understands that his family also died like he did, why did he not stay with them? Does his spirit have any other purpose which was not implied in the movie? Can anyone clarify this aspect for me?

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This last answer is right. In the bible lesson in the beginning of the movie the children said that they would deny Christ. That's why they are in purgatory as well a their mother. –  user6184 Sep 20 '13 at 23:25

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Here's the way I understood it:

The husband was killed in the trenches, and is doomed to haunt that place (as his wife and children are doomed to haunt the mansion). He comes home to visit his children, but eventually returns to the front. It is also hinted that his relationship with his wife was strained even when they were alive, and that this strain is what drove the husband to go to join the war in the first place.

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Hope this answer helps, this was my take on this brilliant film. The husband is killed whilst on the front line and just comes home to say goodbye to his family before going back to haunt the place where he was killed. He regrets going to war more than he can say, but feels destined to haunt the trenches because for some reason the 'law' is that the ghosts must haunt the place where they died (like the three housekeepers who stayed there when "All the other servants left"). The husband partly realises they're all dead and understands this 'law' of having to haunt the place of death, but can't put it into words to explain to his wife. I also think the big thing is that he can't relate to any kind of normal life anymore after the war, even though he loves them all. I think it's that he can't explain to them what he's been though or live as though it never happened, that's why he doesn't explain why he feels so driven to leave and go back to where he feels he belongs (maybe his delusion isn't that he's alive and at home like the wife, but alive and at war, just nipping back for a home visit, even though he partly understands they're all dead but is too confused to mention it) and leaves whilst his wife is asleep because he's struggling to comprehend the situation himself. He obviously feels his 'place' is where he died, despite the extreme regret he has at going to war. I think the narrative is that in his mind he comes back to see his family after his death to say goodbye to them forever and then go and be at the trenches (where he feels he belongs, just as the wife and children feel they belong in that house). Very moving film, first saw it when young and found it fantastic (because my child-brain couldn't figure out the plot until the end so it was a big surprise) and now watching it as an adult find it very moving, especially the part when the husband starts crying. 10/10 film.

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The husband goes to heaven. The mother and children remain because the mother killed her children and herself, and the children admitted that they would openly deny Jesus the Christ before the Roman governor to save their lives.

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This is not true, based on the movie account. When it is finally revealed that they are all dead, the children ask the mother, "if this isn't purgatory and this isn't heaven, then where is this?" To which the mother replies, "I don't know." Also, the "Mills" family all died of influenza and they are also stuck. Nobody goes to heaven in this film. –  Justin Russo Jul 10 at 15:30
    
I just rewatched the ending and the actual words the kids say in the end scene is, "if we're dead, where's limbo?" And the mom says, "I'm not even sure there is a limbo. I'm no wiser than you are." –  Justin Russo Jul 11 at 13:59

I always thought it may have had something to do with him being sickened by the way in which his wife and kids had died.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. –  KeyBrd Basher Apr 10 at 9:41
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Welcome to Movies & TV. Could you please elaborate a bit more to give your answer a bit more substance? –  Tom Cody Apr 10 at 14:45

No. The wife and children are stuck in purgatory, but he gets to go to heaven. In some Christianity and Catholicism beliefs, suicide prevents you from going to heaven. You're just stuck. I am not 100% sure about the children, but I think their distressful death by their mother leaves them trapped.

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This is not true, based on the movie account. When it is finally revealed that they are all dead, the children ask the mother, "if this isn't purgatory and this isn't heaven, then where is this?" To which the mother replies, "I don't know." Also, the "Mills" family all died of influenza and they are also stuck. But they didn't commit suicide. Nobody goes to heaven in this film. –  Justin Russo Jul 10 at 15:28
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Also, if "suicide prevents you from going to heaven," why would the children also be in "purgatory?" They were murdered. Furthermore the husband was killed in action, and he's stuck there too. –  Justin Russo Jul 11 at 13:55
    
I just rewatched the ending and the actual words the kids say in the end scene is, "if we're dead, where's limbo?" And the mom says, "I'm not even sure there is a limbo. I'm no wiser than you are." –  Justin Russo Jul 11 at 13:59

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