Eye For Film >> Movies >> Dark Water (2005) Film Review
Reviewed by: The Remote Viewer
Once again Hollywood has mined the Far East for a horror movie - and once again the movie is not as good as the original. The main problem with this movie is that it does not offer anything new to fans of horrors or thrillers.
Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly) moves her daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade) into a rundown apartment after a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband (Dougray Scott), but things start to go wrong when damp patches begin to appear on her ceiling and Ceci begins to speak to an imaginary friend, Natascha, who eventually tries to kill her.
Firstly, the good points about the film. Jennifer Connelly turns in a solid performance as usual and Ariel Gade is fine as Ceci, managing to avoid being overbearing, as children often are in movies. Tim Roth and John C.Reilly also turn in okay performances. The atmospheric shots of the grey dank buildings and rundown area of the house are nice and atmospheric.
However, the real problem of the film is that it isn't scary enough. I know it isn't a typical monsters-hunting-screaming-teenage-girls horror movie, but the likes of the Sixth Sense and The Others have handled this type of slow-burning graceful horror with more success than here.
The effects didn't really impress me much and the performance of Pete Postlethwaite as the typical mysterious foreigner and Dougray Scott, complete with bad accent were poor. Worst of all the film has a strange 'happy' coda, which is nowhere near as effective as a similar coda in the Japanese original.
Much of the film's failing is that it focuses on the mental trauma of Dahlia more than on the relationship betweem Ceci and Natascha. if it had focused on the relationship between the two girls, as the Japanese original does, the tension and atmosphere would have been cranked up to levels usually asscociated with horror movies. As it is, some sections of the film meander before the director remembers it is supposed to be a 'horror' movie and decides to throw in a shock from nowhere.
This film proves Hollywood should leave Oriental remakes alone. For the most part they have failed and, sadly, so does Dark Water, particularly compared to some of the other horror/thriller films that have been released in the last couple of years.Reviewed on: 20 Jul 2005