Dark Water (2005)

DVD Cover (Buena Vista Home Entertainment Unrated Version)
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Overall Rating 44%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,901
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Connections: Dark Water

Dahlia Williams and her daughter Cecelia move into a rundown apartment on New York's Roosevelt Island. She is currently in the midst of divorce proceedings and the apartment, though near an excellent school for her daughter, is all she can afford. From the time she arrives, there are mysterious occurrences and there is a constant drip from the ceiling in the only bedroom. There are also noises coming from the apartment directly above hers, though it would appear to be vacant. Is the apartment haunted or is there a simpler explanation? --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: July 11, 2005
The name of this review might as well be 'When Good Directors Go Bad'; at least, that is the general theme. After seeing last year's astonishing "The Motorcycle Diaries", I had no doubt that Walter Salles was an incredible talent with the whole world in front of him. His style was unique, his abilities were top notch, and his finished products were undeniably excellent. But, as with many potentially great directors, the lure of the Hollywood machine became too strong to resist. This brings us to what I consider to be one of the worst films of the year, "Dark Water" -- a remake of a Japanese horror film, written by the same man who gave us "The Ring" and "The Grudge". However, the trailers for this film are deceptive. "Dark Water" is as close to a horror film as "Evil Dead" was a family comedy. There is nothing remotely frightening in the film. My best guess is that they knew they had a mediocre film and thought the only way to avoid certain disaster was to sign on some excellent A-listers and hope they could salvage the impending shipwreck. As hard as they tried, they could not accomplished this task.

Jennifer Connelly stars as Dahlia, a woman still coping with a troubled childhood, who now has a child of her own and is going through a somewhat bitter divorce. Her ex-husband Kyle (Dougray Scott) is fighting for custody of their daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade) and wants Dahlia to move to Jersey City so he can be closer to them. Dahlia has other plans. Instead, she moves she and her daughter into a cheap, but not so glamorous, apartment on Roosevelt Island. John C. Reilly stars as Mr. Murray, the slightly seedy building manager who always has an excuse for whatever problem arises. Pete Postlethwaite is Veeck, the apartment handyman who also serves as doorman during the day. Almost immediately after they move in, Dahlia and Ceci notices a slow and steady leak in the bedroom -- dark, almost black water, that seems to be coming from the upstairs apartment. Dahlia also starts to notice slight changes in Ceci's behavior, including the development of an imaginary friend named Natasha. Tim Roth co-stars as Jeff Platzer, Dahlia's attorney, who tries to help her get to the bottom of the situation. I will reveal nothing more. You will have to experience that utter nothingness on your own dime.

Why does Hollywood insist on little kids being creepy. They don't scare me because, no matter how pale their skin is or how black their eyes are, anyone can kick the crap out of a little kid, creepy or not. Just kick them in the face or trip them, or whatever it takes to bring them down a notch. And, it seems that every Japanese horror remake has the same components, those being a creepy little kid, the ghost of a creepy little kid, and a creepy little kid drawing from school. I am tired of this. I think I am just tired of Japanese horror remakes altogether. But, wait -- "Dark Water" is not a horror film. In fact, the original Japanese version was not really a horror film. It was a drama, just like the remake. So, why the trailer insisting that the film was a horror film? Easy. It was the only way to get people into the theatre. There is nothing about this waste of time that is remotely interesting to the average audience member. All "Dark Water" becomes is just another example of very good actors lowering themselves for money and never really making anything happen. I blame Walter Salles for having the bad taste of agreeing to take on such a disaster. I blame Jennifer Connelly for letting that Oscar go to her head. For shame.

So, let's get to the performances. Jennifer Connelly is a fine actress, and I suppose her performance in this film is far better than most would have given with the material they had. She hits all of the emotional buttons her character is suppose to hit, and she even manages to make us feel sorry for her somewhat. John C. Reilly gives the best performance in the film as the building super who is desperate to rent out his rooms. The entire scene between he and Connelly at the beginning of the film seemed entirely improvised on his part and he did a nice job. But, that does not excuse his Oscar nominated ass from entering this project. It was also nice to see both Pete Postlethwaite and Tim Roth acting again, though I certainly wish it would have been under better circumstances. They deserve much better than "Dark Water". And, how can I forget the amazing Camryn Manheim in such a minor role, one wonder why she hopped on at all. Was she just so excited to be making a movie that she did not even read the script. Her post-"Practice" career needed a bigger boost than this.

"Dark Water" drowns, floats to the top, and then bakes in the hot Hollywood sun. It is an utter waste of time, and an even bigger waste of yours. I whole-heartedly suggest you avoid this one and see "Fantastic Four" instead. At least you already know the latter is going to be ridiculous -- you don't have any false hope. Don't let the Oscar nominated and Oscar winning actors fool you -- "Dark Water" is truly a sinking stone. FOOTNOTE: While watching the film, I sat and watched in horror as everyone else in the theatre (four people) walked out halfway through the film. Why? Because that is how bad this film was. The only reason I stayed was because I can't stand wasting my ticket money. But, oh wait -- I did.

Chad #1: Chad - added 11/14/2006, 09:15 AM
Let's see how well I did in the predictions I laid out in my review of the original - what'd I say there? Ah yes, something like "The whole tone of the movie will be ruined and we'll be left with yet another a mediocre horror film with a remake tag attached to it." Called that one, I did. And what the hell were they thinking when they changed the vast majority of the ending? The original was great and finished the film off in style, but here, it's complete and utter shit. That about sums up the entire movie, sadly enough. 1.5 is being much too generous - 0/10.
Griffinheart #2: Griffinheart - added 10/26/2007, 02:05 PM
All I can say is that Pirates of the Dark Water is much better.
danimigra #3: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 05:41 PM
This remake is awful.... not even Jennifer Connelly could do something for this film... pity...1.5/10 is fine for me.
Lucid Dreams #4: Lucid Dreams - added 11/06/2010, 12:10 AM
Movie was horrible, but I want Jennifer Connelly and my wife to have a tickle fight. 1/10
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