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Dark Waters [Blu-ray]
Closed Captioned - Dolby Digital Mono
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It has been acclaimed as "visually amazing" (Videoscope), "deeply disturbing" (BBC Radio One), "a must see for serious horror buffs" (Film Review), and compared to the works of Bergman, Bava and Argento. Now experience the modern Nunsploitation masterpiece from co-writer/director Mariano Baino as you've never seen or heard it before: When a young Englishwoman attempts to discover her mysterious connection to a remote island convent, she will unlock an unholy communion of torment, blasphemy and graphic demonic depravity.
Louise Salter (INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE) stars in this "stunning and horrifying debut" (Digitally Obsessed) filmed on location along the grim Ukraine coast now transferred in HD from the original 35mm negative and featuring over 4 hours of startling Special Features.
- Audio Commentary With Writer / Director Mariano Baino
- Lovecraft Made Me Do It Featurette
- Let There Be Water Featurette
- Controlling The Uncontrollable Featurette
- Deep Into The Dark Waters Featurette
- Director Intro
- Deleted Scenes
- Silent Blooper Reel With Audio Commentary by Director Mariano Baino
- Short Films Of Mariano Baino: Dream Car, Caruncula, Never Ever After
- Making Of Never Ever After
"The best horror film that no one has heard of. Until now." ---10KBullets.com
"A lost masterpiece of art-house horror." ---Filmmaker Magazine
"A SINGULAR EXPERIENCE… Baino is a master of light and shadow." --ClassicHorror.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Omnipresent but unseen, the Great Old Ones are cosmic evil which exists beyond
our Space-Time continuum. "The Beast" of the film is such an entity.
She strives to enter and devastate our world through a Gate, which is
in the catacombs below an ancient convent. This crumbling edifice stands
on an isolated island, off the coast of Crimea, in the Black Sea.
The key that will open this Gate is a stone carving, which depicts the horrific visage
of "The Beast". The nuns of the convent have dedicated their lives to eternal vigilance
against anybody trying to open the Gate. Trespassers of the secret pay with their lives...
Two decades in the past of the story, "The Beast" entangles an unwitting American tourist,
who marries a local "weird" girl. The girl gives birth to two daughters, who are actually Spawn
of "The Beast": Elizabeth looks like a normal human, whereas Sarah is only marginally human...
When the American discovers the bestial nature of his daughters, he flees the island in terror,
taking along six-year old Elizabeth. He settles in London, and dedicates his life
to the financial support of the convent. Sarah grows up oblivious of her origin, and the sister
who was left behind. When the American dies, adult Elizabeth's curiosity gets the better of her.
She returns to the island, and meets Sarah-who is masquerading as a novice nun.
Now the plans of "The Beast" will come to fruition...
Shot on location, in the former Soviet Union, the film has a run-down, decaying ambiance,
which no studio-bound production can hope to achieve. The sullen, hard-bitten faces of
the Russian locals, and their thick accent, further enhance the ominous aura.
There are several weird secondary characters: An old lady who plays with her pet spiders,
a raving maniac who devours raw fish, a shop-keeper who chops up the dead, and feeds
the pieces to seagulls-in an eerie analogy to Tibetan mortuary customs.
Image and sound quality of the Blu-ray is astounding.
The immersive soundscape enhances the ominous music:
The unceasing dripping of water and the crushing of the waves on the rocks,
the sputtering of myriad candles in the catacombs, the wailing of unseen children,
and the moan of "The Beast"-straining to break into our world.
Unfortunately the Blu-ray extras are not subtitled for the hard-of-hearing people.
This film rightfully belongs to the canon of works inspired by the fiction of H.P.Lovecraft
and his disciples, such as "Dagon" (2001) and "Dreams in the Witch House" (2006).
Director Mario Baino has a great eye and knows how to capture evocative and creepy imagery. But other filmmaking talents seem to almost completely elude him. There might not be a single dialogue scene that isn't awkwardly handled and his basic storytelling skills are so poor Dark Waters makes Suspiria look like an example of brilliant writing.
The story has something to do with a mysterious group of nuns on a remote island who are harboring a terrible secret. Unfortunately Baino never quite seems to decide whether his nuns are agents of good or evil. A young woman visits the convent for reasons that are also never really very clear. She has a friend at the convent named Theresa who discovers a terrible secret and is murdered early in the film. Our heroine Elizabeth receives a letter from Theresa which is completely innocuous and makes no mention that she feels in danger or found anything. If there was something dramatic in the letter that would have given the heroine a clear motivation and the film some dramatic momentum. Despite the innocent letter Elizabeth is willing to risk her life in dangerous weather to get to the island via boat, although the movie provides little reason for her apparent sense of urgency.
Once there she encounters the nuns, one of whom tries to murder her almost immediately. Unfortunately, there is no way off the island and nowhere for Elizabeth to stay outside of the convent. For the rest of the movie Elizabeth more or less wanders around, trying to uncover the secret of her childhood (she was raised on the island and taken to England when she was seven but remembers nothing of her early life there) and of her mother's death and of what it is that the nuns are harboring or keeping prisoner or whatever it is that they are doing.
Dark Waters has no narrative momentum and pretty much no suspense--you never really get the sense that its scenes are actually leading anywhere or building towards some big climax, even though the film has one, more or less. Director and cowriter Mario Baino is clearly most comfortable when he gets to compose his creepy imagery and use his actors as silent props. Dark Waters is filled with spooky visuals and atmosphere--but there's little in terms of story or characters to hold it all together.
Still, if you are a fan of Mario Bava and Dario Argento and visually arresting Italian horror Dark Waters is an interesting film but, unfortunately, it has roughly as many flaws as virtues--it looks great but feels weirdly amateurish at the same time.