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Dark Water

Dark Water


Title - Dark Water
My Admission - $4.00
One Line Review - Jennifer Connelly and the film’s atmosphere are amazing.


Review – The acclaimed Brazilian director Walter Salles (Central Station and The Motorcycle Diaries) has stepped into the horror realm with Dark Water.  A dark and atmospheric tale about a mother, a daughter, and the mystery that haunts their newly rented apartment.  Amazingly enough it’s about so much more than that and that will help lose most audiences.

The film is tooted as being from “the writer of The Ring”. Dark Water is not written by the screenwriter of The Ring and The Ring 2, Ehran Kruger but is actually a short story, taken from a collection (of the same name) by Koji Suzuki, the writer of Ringu; The Ring’s source material.  Does that make sense?  I don’t know that it matters to most of you but there it is.

Anyway, Dark Water is similar to The Ring 2 and that works against its ultimate effectiveness, for me at least anyway but so does that fact that Dark Water is light on the horrific scares.  There are a few genuine moments of terror but not enough to really call Dark Water a horror film in my opinion.  It is however, very atmospheric, darkly creepy and unnerving at times.  These are one of the films two great selling points but the lack of physical scares help deaden the punch line.

The second, and best, selling point of the film is Jennifer Connelly.  She comes to Dark Water, and the genre, as an actress.  She somehow sidesteps the clichés of being another horror film siren.  She brings an authenticity to her character and plight that gives her performance, probably, the most solid sense of realism in a scary movie I can remember.  I think that says a lot for her as an actress as well as the quality of Dark Water’s final product.

In the end, I didn’t care for Dark Water.  It’s a fantastic exercise in capturing atmosphere and a study in acting.  Beyond that, for all the creepy build up I was let down by the crux of the film and it’s lack of physical scares.  I can’t believe that I’m admitting to a lack of Hollywood overkill but in Dark Water’s case it really worked against itself this time.


Movie Information

Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material, frightening sequences, disturbing images and brief language
Starring:  Jennifer Connelly,John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite, Ariel Gade, Perla Haney-Jardine, Camryn Manheim
Director: Walter Salles
Producers:  Bill Mechanic,Roy Lee,Doug Davison
Screenwriter: Rafael Yglesias
Cinematographer:  Affonso Beato
Composer: Angelo Badalamenti
Executive Producer: Ashley Kramer
Running Time: 1 hr. 15 min.
Genre: Thriller

Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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