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 »aughter are ready to begin a new life together. But their new apartment ? dilapidated and worn ? suddenly seems to take on a life of its own. Mysterious noises, persistent leaks of dark water, and other strange happenings in the deserted apartment above send Dahlia on a haunting and mystifying pursuit ? one that unleashes a torrent of living nightmares.« less
Christopher L. (axeofgod72) from TRENTON, IL Reviewed on 10/20/2012...
jennifer connelly is beautiful in whatever role she plays... dark water is like something from the mind of alfred hitchcock... it's slow, dark, and creepy, but it's well-worth the effort.
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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."
"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."
mikey mike | 01/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"-A very pretty woman splits from her husband and gets joint custody of her daughter. she moves into a dilapidated apartment that she plans on living in temporarily and for a while things seem to be going well but a leak that causes black water to seep into her bedroom causes problems for her. not to mention her daughter develops a friendship with an imaginary friend and after some haunting dreams and strange happenings around the apartment she finds out what's behind the black water realizes that she has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to make everything right.
-The trailer and ads on TV made the movie out to seem like another idiotic PG-13 Japan horror remake and I can see why they did that because after all "The Grudge" blew up big time at the box office but the problem with that movie was that it sucked beyond belief which may have affected this movie too. this is more than just some silly idiotic wannabe scary movie, it's thoughtful, clever, well shot and acted and a great story on top of all that. If the studios had actually marketed the movie that way who knows then more people may have gone to see it but you can't really blame them for trying.
-I think people maybe initially disappointed with the movie because I know they'll probably expect a movie that has creepy long haired little girls that come out of TV's or whatever but that's not really what this movie is about. It does have moments of intense suspense but it never really gets scary or make you pee yourself a little. the movie never feels forced on contrive but just takes it's time and lets things unfold as it happens and really doesn't get creepy and disturbing till we've figured out all the pieces to the puzzle which is what Takashi Miike did with "Audition" and Roth did with "Hostel". This is one of the few movies in which I've actually seen the original as well as the remake and I like this one a bit more since the story is told a lot better here and isn't slightly confusing like it's Japanese counterpart. The one thing the Japanese version does do a lot better is with the music which was really unnerving in that one where as it's really quite in the remake
-I absolutely adore the little girl that plays Connolly's daughter in the movie, she so cute that you just feel like pinching her when you see her on the screen. her acting skills may not be the best in the world because I believe that the little girl that played Alessa's dark side in "Silent Hill" is the best child actor of all time but she is still adorable and I hope that someday when I have a kid they turn out that sweet. Much like Sarah Polley, Radha Mitchell, Miranda Otto and Eva Green, Jennifer Connolly is one of those women that I'll forever be biased towards when it comes to their movies. I don't care how crappy the movie that they're in is I'll still manage to find something about it that I like. I know I'm not the only person on the planet that has that biased since a lot of people love to throw perfect 10's at movies featuring their favorite actors or favorite directors. She is all right in the movie but the story really doesn't call on her to do much than be a mother and she does that pretty well. She doesn't have a single moment in the movie in which she'll make anyone realize why so many of us think she's such a great actress but she is pretty good in it.
-John C. Reilly has a small role in the movie as the man that owns the apartment and his character is a regular person. he's pretty much what you see is what you get because there is no deep nuisance or twist involving his character what so ever. he's just a man trying to make it in the world. the only character that has any amount of great mystery to him is the man that's suppose to be the janitor or something. I can't remember the name of the actor but there is a pretty nice twist involving his character and why he always seems so aloof.
-It may be a Japanese remake but it's not as stupid or as annoying as "The Grudge" and I hope more people give it a chance because it's really something special."