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Dark Water [UMD for PSP]
Dark Water
Actors: Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott
Director: Walter Salles
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
PG-13     2005     1hr 45min

Far more terrifying than what was seen in theaters, this special unrated version of DARK WATER is a thoroughly absorbing, suspense-filled thriller starring Jennifer Connelly. Dahlia Williams (Connelly) and her 5-year-old d...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott
Director: Walter Salles
Creators: Ashley Kramer, Bill Mechanic, Diana Pokorny, Hideo Nakata, Kji Suzuki, Rafael Yglesias, Takashige Ichise
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Touchstone / Disney
Format: UMD for PSP - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/26/2005
Original Release Date: 07/08/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 07/08/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish, French
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Movie Reviews

Lost and abandoned
bonsai chicken | United States | 07/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"DARK WATER concerns a young woman named Dahlia Williams (Jennifer Connelly) who is going through a messy custody battle with her husband over their daughter, Cecelia. With little money on hand, they move into the creepiest apartment building they can afford on Roosevelt Island in New York. It is a dank, depressing place, but they don't have much choice. At least the school nearby is highly regarded.

Before long, they begin to experience plumbing problems, presumably from the apartment above them. Evil-looking stains appear on the ceiling and grow. Dahlia can't make any headway with the evasive landlord or maintenance man. Then there's the mysterious whispering, and her daughter has seemingly made an imaginary friend - who tells her things about her mother that she couldn't possibly know.

DARK WATER, like THE RING, is a remake of a Japanese film by Hideo Nakata and based on a story by Koji Suzuki. Unlike THE RING or THE GRUDGE, the other big horror import of the last few years, this version fails to improve on or even equal the quality or effectiveness of the original film. The story hasn't changed, but all the frightening or even creepy moments I remember from Nakata's film are absent. There is no build-up or tension. This film is - sorry - severely watered down.

Moreover, audiences unaware that this is a remake of a film from 2002 are likely to find it too similar to THE RING TWO (which was also directed by Nakata, but which was not a remake of the Japanese RING 2) and think it derivative, when in fact it's the other way around.

If I hadn't seen the Japanese original, I'd probably have a much higher opinion of this one. The performances are great. It's an okay movie, as it stands, but much was lost in the translation."
Dark Water is Creepy and Murky
Steven Hedge | Somewhere "East of Eden" | 02/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The ever reliable Jennifer Connelly gives another very convincing performance in this atmospheric film. The supporting cast is perfect and believable. The direction is clever and well-paced, but not heavy-handed for this genre. The scriptwriters created terrific characters and believable plot twists in this very suspenseful and eerie film.

This is another well-adapted and even improved version of the original Japanese horror flick, but it isn't in the same vein as The Grudge although it is influenced by it. It is much more subdued and darker than that film and is more character driven. Some may not like this slower, more deliberately paced chiller, but that is what gives it momentum and suspense. I think it's very well-paced for the genre it falls into which is the traditional haunted house kind of film.

This film is worth owning, but not having seen the film in the theaters, I have no clue what was added to this "unrated" edition of the original PG-13 theatrical release. I can say that I found nothing objectionable in it as sometimes happens with these "unrated" releases. Less shocking and intense than other Asian horror imports or influenced films, but that made this a fun popcorn film for me and my family as there is no bloodshed, violence, sex, or nudity in this film."
What would you give up to keep your child safe...
Gayle Surrette | Brandywine, Maryland | 01/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Dahlia (Connelly) is a newly divorced mother in a bitter custody battle with her ex (Scott) over their daughter Cecilia. Dahlia finds an apartment on Roosevelt Island. The apartment's cramped and the building on the neglected side but the school is excellent. The ex threatens to sue for custody unless she moves to his neighborhood. So Dahlia is trying to find a lawyer, get the plumbing in the upstairs apartment, which is leaking into her bedroom fixed, and deal with Cecilia's sudden development of an imaginary friend, and finding a new job.

Dahlia suffers from severe and frequent migraines and her ex is charging that she is mentally unstable and unfit to care for their child. Finally, getting a lawyer she begins to take charge of her life. She tries to find the source of the water leaking from upstairs and learns that the family moved out and the daughter has the same name as Cecilia's imaginary friend. The lawyer takes each issue at face value as Dahlia seems to be degenerating into insanity.

The audience can see things going on that the major characters don't see and so you're left wondering what is going to happen next. The film is dark and creepy but far more psychologically creepy than scary for most of the film. Of course, just when you think things may turn out okay there are several twists that pull the rug out from under the viewer. But this is a bleak film about love and family -- it may be hard to watch not for the violence, horror, or whatever but because in spite of the supernatural aspects it hits close to the heart for many people with less than ideal family situations."
Style over Substance
Megan Stoner | USA | 07/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Being unfamiliar with the work and adaptations of Hideo Nakata and Koji Suzuki, I went into "Dark Water" with no preconceptions about style, form, or subject matter, other than that this was a horror picture whose plot seemed to centre around water. A lot of it.

And it does. The drains really do matter, and poor Dahlia (played with a fierce quietness by Jennifer Connelly) and her darling little daughter Ceci (made so sweet it's creepy by astonishing newcomer Ariel Gade) learn this quickly enough when they are forced to relocate from "the City" to Roosevelt Island, a dreary industrial place that the sleazy but quick-on-his-feet management agent Mr. Murray describes as a "utopia" - ironically, without a hint of irony. Ceci, as all horror-movie children do, has a "bad feeling" about the place and is reluctant to move in, at first. Nobody could blame her: the lobby is run-down, flecked with mildew, and lit in shades of flickering fluorescent green that immediately inspire dread in the viewer, though not as much as the dour superintendent Veeck (played with creepy perfection by Peter Postlethwaite, who should patent roles like this), and not nearly so much as that festering muddy-brown water stain on the bedroom ceiling.

But Dahlia is separated from her husband, engaged in a nasty custody battle, and needs an affordable place to call home in order to keep her daughter. This apartment is definitely affordable, and Ceci has rather inexplicably decided she loves the place. So, in the time-honored tradition of horror-movie heroines, Dahlia goes against her better judgment and moves in.

Soon enough, Bad Things Happen. The water-spot grows. Is plastered over. Grows again. Water trickles into the capricious elevator, which sometimes goes to floors it shouldn't and stops when it likes, and drips through the floors. Faucets and toilets spout ominous rust-coloured streams in pristine public schools and Dahlia's own kitchen. The ubiquitous Imaginary Friend makes appearances, whispering in the night and telling little Ceci things neither one should know about her mother and her past. She even talks to Dahlia. And it rains. A lot.

Things continue to happen, and continue to get worse, but never all at once. Director Walter Salles prefers to build an atmosphere rather than scare us out of our seats with cheap thrills, and he proves very adept at inspiring first gloom, then dread, then horror, and finally anticipation as the payoff we know must come approaches.

Unfortunately, it is here that the film stumbles. The mood up until then has been evoked perfectly, although it takes longer than it ought to; nothing much happens but tension-building until the last fifteen minutes or so of the film, and then the climax we have been waiting for since Dahlia moved in is so predictable that it disappoints. However, the suspense is kept taut till the end and the mood never falters; if it is emotional resonance, rather than cheap scares, that you're looking for, this will suit the purpose nicely."