Dark Water

Dark Water


Reviewed by: Kotleta

Dahlia, an anxious woman with lank dark hair (Jennifer Connelly wasting her considerable talents) has split up with her unfaithful husband (Dougray Scott, shouting in an American accent).

They have a six-year-old daughter of whom both want custody. During the legal wranglings, Dahlia and little Ceci move into a creepy, Stalinist apartment block with bad plumbing, a haunted lift and cadaverous Pete Postlethwaite as a janitor. Pete hasn't decided what accent he wants to do so he tries a few out before opting for non-specific East European. It rains a lot and sticky black water drips through their bedroom ceiling from the abandoned flat above. Ceci starts school round the corner which she attends with her imaginary friend. A child's rucksack appears in odd places and the owner has vanished in mysterious circumstances. This is the plot for the first two reels and it's no more exciting in the third.

Copy picture

Ostensibly, this is a horror film remade as a psychological thriller, but clues to every twist are flagged up so clumsily that there's little reward for staying to the end. It lurches uneasily between cliched attempts at horror and dismal flashbacks to Dahlia's troubled past. It LOOKS creepy but, in a triumph of style over substance, fails to evoke even the mildest scare.

Jennifer Connelly puts in a convincing performance as a stressed single mum questioning her own sanity in a world that seems to have gone mad, and John C Reilly is energetic as an estate agent whose native language is euphemistic bullshit. But it's simply not enough and not even the impeccable pedigree of both cast and crew can redeem a script so plodding and slight.

The real mystery is how so many talented people managed to produce a film this bad. Dark water - a very bad case of damp rot.

Reviewed on: 20 Jul 2005
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Dark Water packshot
So-so adaptation of Hideo Nakata's Japanese horror movie.
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Read more Dark Water reviews:

Angus Wolfe Murray ***
The Exile ***
The Remote Viewer **

Director: Walter Salles

Writer: Rafael Yglesias, based on a screenplay by Hideo Nakata and Taka Ichise, based on the novel by Koji Suzuki

Starring: Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite, Ariel Gade, Camryn Manheim, Perla Haney-Jardine, Elina Lowensohn

Year: 2005

Runtime: 105 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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