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Dark Water

2005

PG-13 CC

A mother and child move into a run-down apartment that is haunted.

Starring:
Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly
Runtime:
1 hour, 44 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller, Horror
Director Walter Salles
Starring Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly
Supporting actors Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite, Camryn Manheim, Ariel Gade, Perla Haney-Jardine, Debra Monk, Linda Emond, Bill Buell, J.R. Horne, Elina Löwensohn, Warren Belle, Alison Sealy-Smith, Simon Reynolds, Kate Hewlett, Jennifer Baxter, Diego Fuentes, Zoe Heath
Studio Touchstone Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Hedge on February 6, 2007
Format: DVD
The ever reliable Jennifer Connelly gives another very convincing performance in this atmospheric film. The supporting cast is perfect and believable. The direction is clever and well-paced, but not heavy-handed for this genre. The scriptwriters created terrific characters and believable plot twists in this very suspenseful and eerie film.

This is another well-adapted and even improved version of the original Japanese horror flick, but it isn't in the same vein as The Grudge although it is influenced by it. It is much more subdued and darker than that film and is more character driven. Some may not like this slower, more deliberately paced chiller, but that is what gives it momentum and suspense. I think it's very well-paced for the genre it falls into which is the traditional haunted house kind of film.

This film is worth owning, but not having seen the film in the theaters, I have no clue what was added to this "unrated" edition of the original PG-13 theatrical release. I can say that I found nothing objectionable in it as sometimes happens with these "unrated" releases. Less shocking and intense than other Asian horror imports or influenced films, but that made this a fun popcorn film for me and my family as there is no bloodshed, violence, sex, or nudity in this film.
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Format: DVD
Dahlia (Connelly) is a newly divorced mother in a bitter custody battle with her ex (Scott) over their daughter Cecilia. Dahlia finds an apartment on Roosevelt Island. The apartment's cramped and the building on the neglected side but the school is excellent. The ex threatens to sue for custody unless she moves to his neighborhood. So Dahlia is trying to find a lawyer, get the plumbing in the upstairs apartment, which is leaking into her bedroom fixed, and deal with Cecilia's sudden development of an imaginary friend, and finding a new job.

Dahlia suffers from severe and frequent migraines and her ex is charging that she is mentally unstable and unfit to care for their child. Finally, getting a lawyer she begins to take charge of her life. She tries to find the source of the water leaking from upstairs and learns that the family moved out and the daughter has the same name as Cecilia's imaginary friend. The lawyer takes each issue at face value as Dahlia seems to be degenerating into insanity.

The audience can see things going on that the major characters don't see and so you're left wondering what is going to happen next. The film is dark and creepy but far more psychologically creepy than scary for most of the film. Of course, just when you think things may turn out okay there are several twists that pull the rug out from under the viewer. But this is a bleak film about love and family -- it may be hard to watch not for the violence, horror, or whatever but because in spite of the supernatural aspects it hits close to the heart for many people with less than ideal family situations.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Cliff notes: Jennifer Connelly plays a mother who is in the throws of a nasty divorce after her husband decides he wants to be with his mistress. She and her daughter are forced to move into a hell hole apartment, for its affordability, on Roosevelt Island, NYC. The building is "post apocalyptic chic", you expect to find heroin junkies and dead hookers around every corner and in every closet. It's terrible. Almost immediately, her adorable daughter makes a friend. A friend we can't see. Her teacher at her new school is concerned about her new "friend" and soon her mother becomes alarmed as well. Dark, murky water begins pooling on the ceiling in the little girl's room and it grows bigger each day. Where is this coming from? Why is it just in this one spot? Hmm, that's for you to find out! No spoiler here!
Overview: I love Jennifer Connelly and she does not disappoint in this well made paranormal thriller. Don't expect gratuitous jump scares peppered throughout, this is taught and well done from beginning to end and the movie doesn't need those. The cinematography is dark and brooding mirroring the film's purpose. There's no fancy CGI because it's not needed, and I can appreciate that. The supporting cast like, John C. Reilly and Camryn Manheim are wonderful and serve their characters well. The little girl that plays the daughter is wonderful in this movie and is so cute, you want to reach out and hug her.
I really like this movie and have watched it several times over the years, it's just so well done. If you enjoy "smart" thrillers that are more "under your skin creepy", rather than slasher, blood and guts with tons of CGI....then this movie is for you.
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Format: DVD
Dark Water is great at manufacturing tension using a contemporary project (apartment) complex as the source of shadows, dim and yellow light, strange noises, and black-colored water. The tension is level almost from the beginning of the movie until the end, and rarely is there a scary moment to break it. Even the comic relief of the daughter is unintentional as she plays with her toys in the bathtub -- although she steals this scene, it is due to her personality, not the script.

This film is largely plotless. It's also not entirely a character sketch, as many plotless movies can be. For a horror movie to be a character sketch is risky and quite interesting. For a horror movie to have no plot is downright suicidal. The movie fails mostly because it lacks a believable sequence of events. The relationships between the characters are well-developed and the cast is quite good, but there's nothing for them to do. Look scared, be scary, but why? And the utter non-ending is truly thoughtless -- the film ultimately has no regard for the audience.

I suspect that much of the problem has to do with translation. Not Japanese to English, but rather Japanese sensibility to Hollywood sensibility. Something is missing here, a finger on something important. After all, the best horror movies are about our worst fears. Who is afraid of dark water stains?
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