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Overall Rating

Awesome: 3.57%
Worth A Look: 26.79%
Average: 25%
Pretty Bad33.93%
Total Crap: 10.71%

6 reviews, 20 user ratings

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Dark Water (2005)
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by EricDSnider

"More wet girls tormenting frightened women."
3 stars

Just 50 years ago, Japan's chief horror export was a giant fire-breathing lizard who smashed through cities and destroyed everything in his path. Now what we get is damp waif-ghosts who crawl around and harass new homeowners. No wonder Japan's status as a world superpower has diminished in recent years.

"Dark Water" is the latest in this trend, a remake of a film by Hideo Nakata, who also made the Japanese "Ringu" films. "The Ring" more or less kicked off this trend for Americans, followed by "The Grudge" and now leading to "Dark Water," in which, yet again, a child's ghost leads an unsuspecting woman to a shocking discovery.

That a child's ghost is involved is, technically, a spoiler, since the movie doesn't explicitly reveal that until well into things. But come on. You move into a flat where there's always water dripping from the unoccupied apartment upstairs, where you constantly hear the pitter-patter of young feet above you, where there's a Hello Kitty backpack on the roof even though no children live in the building, where the elevator often goes unbidden to the 10th floor -- what else could it be but a ghost?

Dahlia Williams (Jennifer Connelly) doesn't figure it out right away; I guess she hasn't seen "The Ring" or "The Grudge." In the midst of a messy divorce, she moves with her little girl Ceci (Ariel Gade) into a dank, soggy apartment in a giant Eastern European-looking tenement on New York City's Roosevelt Island. She was lied to about the apartment's amenities by the landlord (John C. Reilly, very amusing as an overly personable slumlord), but even he is surprised when the opaque liquid of the title begins seeping through the ceiling. The maintenance man, Mr. Veeck (Pete Postlethwaite), claims he's no plumber and can't fix it. He's kind of a jerk anyway, and has a foreign accent, so you know he's trouble.

Soon weird things are happening, and we learn that Dahlia -- who has a mild case of the crazies -- suffers from Mommy issues and hence may be especially receptive to contact by a neglected specter. Or, you know, maybe it's just her estranged husband (Dougray Scott) causing trouble, trying to make her think she's crazier than she is.

It all comes out in the end, in a finale that is, at last, somewhat frightening and suspenseful but that doesn't make a lot of sense. What precedes it (directed by Walter Salles, recently of "The Motorcycle Diaries") is only marginally creepy, your standard mix of bad dreams, whispery supernatural voices and red herrings. (Why is Dahlia's lawyer so eager to please and so full of lies? We'll never know.) The whole thing is rather unsatisfying, I'm sorry to say, big on atmosphere but small on actual fright or dread.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/12/05 18:23:04
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Horror Remakes: For more in the Horror Remakes series, click here.

User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell skip it 1 stars
11/26/08 Leo T not bad, love to watch Jennifer Connelly in a wet tshit tho 2 stars
4/16/08 Jack Sommersby Limp, lumbersome and uninvolving to boot. 1 stars
3/30/07 fools♫gold Old-school ghost story, but you can find a better one. 2 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai A really good suspense thriller. Connelly gives a great performance. 4 stars
2/18/06 Indrid Cold The acting and direction are great but the story is scattered and unsatisfying. 3 stars
12/30/05 othree Jennifer Connelly = Great! Dark Water = Sucks all bland ass... no really ...zZZ 2 stars
10/28/05 chris not a bad movie 4 stars
10/20/05 PAG Above average. 4 stars
10/11/05 Tom Burns Not very good. Their was no scares what so ever. 2 stars
9/29/05 Stephanie Throckmorton Chaotic! Was Natasha good or evil? What killed Dahlia? Gad! 2 stars
7/28/05 Obi Wan Worst movie I've seen this summer! 1 stars
7/26/05 manuel I was disappointed 2 stars
7/14/05 Pete Bleakly shot, stunning cast and a horrific ending, the way remakes should be - better 5 stars
7/12/05 Obi Wan Worst movie I've seen in mayb last 3-4 years. SUCKED ..BAD!! Can I give a 0? 1 stars
7/12/05 Anne This film was more surprising than scary and some parts of it were HILARIOUS. 2 stars
7/11/05 Caiphn Slow, boring, uninspired. No suspense, no scares. Came very close to leaving. 1 stars
7/11/05 8=====D stupid 1 stars
7/09/05 Kankasaur Induces ripples of laughter rather than goosebumps 3 stars
7/08/05 dan Very creepy movie and jennifer connelly wet... i loved it 5 stars
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  08-Jul-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 26-Dec-2005



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