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Dark Water

Dark Water

3.2 10
Director: Walter Salles Jr., Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth

Cast: Walter Salles Jr., Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth


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Directed by Walter Salles Jr., this remake of Hideo Nakata's supernatural psychological drama Honogurai Mizuno Soko Kara revolves around the plight of a single mother (Jennifer Connelly) whose messy divorce and subsequent battle for the custody of her five-year-old daughter is taking a heavy toll on her emotional well-being. Ultimately, the mother and daughter


Directed by Walter Salles Jr., this remake of Hideo Nakata's supernatural psychological drama Honogurai Mizuno Soko Kara revolves around the plight of a single mother (Jennifer Connelly) whose messy divorce and subsequent battle for the custody of her five-year-old daughter is taking a heavy toll on her emotional well-being. Ultimately, the mother and daughter are able to relocate to an apartment, which, despite its excessively dilapidated interior, seems to be an adequate location for beginning a new life. Before long, however, what appears to be the spirit of a young girl begins to haunt them. No stranger to mental illness, the wary young woman brushes the visions aside as part of the inherent stress of making the transition from housewife to working, single mom. As time goes by and the apparent haunting does not subside, the apartment's new residents are forced to examine the history of its former tenants. Dark Water also features performances from John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, and Dougray Scott. ~ Tracie Cooper

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A terrifying novel by Koji Suzuki, previously adapted to film in Japan, becomes a profoundly unsettling supernatural thriller thanks to the inspired direction of Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles. Newly divorced mom Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly), having won custody of her daughter, Ceci, in a bitter court battle, takes up residence in a depressingly dreary, run-down apartment -- the only affordable one in proximity to a good school. But shabby maintenance isn't the main problem. Long ago, Dahlia learns, something horrible happened in the empty apartment above hers...something that continues to haunt everyone in the building. Salles appropriates the visual style often used by Japanese filmmakers in the production of contemporary urban-based horror films; harsh fluorescent lighting drains the color out of already drab settings and gives the characters a pale, unhealthy appearance. The sun rarely shines, and the cloudy, rain-swollen skies cast a grey pall over the city. Tracking shots are employed sparingly, and when the camera moves it doesn't glide confidently but slithers stealthily down hallways or around corners. Horror is conveyed not by cheap "boo!" tactics but instead by the steady accumulation of disturbing events and blood-chilling revelations. Connelly is superb as the young mother, already emotionally fragile but determined to fight the unseen forces that threaten her young daughter -- who, by the way, is played by young Ariel Gade with the poise and assurance normally associated with much older and more sophisticated performers. Similarly effective in minor but carefully written roles are Tim Roth, John C. Reilly, Pete Postlethwaite, and Camryn Manheim. Dark Water isn't the type of horror movie that makes good "popcorn" fare: It doesn't rely on hoary, stereotypical devices and doesn't have the one-murder-per-reel pace many fans crave. Instead, it moves slowly, almost funereally, toward a sense-shattering conclusion that will leave most viewers limp with exhaustion once the movie has ended. And that's more than you can generally say of today's fright films.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
It's easy to get frustrated with Hollywood when considering the studio system's over-reliance on remakes and at times seemingly paralyzing phobia of producing anything that could be perceived as remotely original -- and for fans of Japanese horror films in particular, the remake explosion has cut especially close to the bone. In rare cases, though, when given time and careful consideration -- and when the original shows promise yet lacks perfection -- a remake can be a truly satisfying and more effective extension of the concepts presented in the original. With his remake of Ring director Hideo Nakata's 2002 thriller Dark Water, Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles achieves the rare feat of actually improving on the original, thanks in no small part to the screenwriting skills of Rafael Yglesias -- who realized that a little subtlety can go a long way. Not only are the actions of the characters more believable in the American incarnation of Kôji Suzuki's dark mystery, but by reducing the focus on the now-clichéd creepy little girl with long hair and instead focusing on the mental deterioration of the mother, the strain of her failed marriage, and the frail but loving relationship that she shares with her daughter, Yglesias and Salles allow the viewer to truly connect with the characters before ratcheting up the tension by introducing the supernatural element. While it is true that some of the more explicit "scare" scenes were excised in this version in favor of crafting better-drawn characters, the substitution ultimately makes the end payoff more effective. Even for those who don't have children, it will be difficult not to empathize with the mother who, while quite possibly emotionally unbalanced, does her best to reconcile the trauma of her own childhood, and it's here where actress Jennifer Connelly truly brings the character of Dahlia to life. The supporting players -- including John C. Reilly's hoagie-chomping slumlord, Tim Roth's phone-camera-happy lawyer, and Pete Postlethwaite's crusty superintendent -- also shine, with Salles and Yglesias providing just enough character quirks to allow them to stand out and make an impression. Another performance worth mentioning is Dougray Scott's portrayal of Dahlia's husband, Kyle -- a role effectively expanded in the American version to both give viewers a better understanding of Dahlia's past and enhance the mystery. Though younger audiences may not be able to connect with Dark Water as well as older viewers due to its mature themes and favoring of slow-burn dread over quick-cut shocks, the film remains a shining example of low-key psychological horror that, while remaining true to its roots in the J-horror movement, transcends its mediocre origins to provide chills that run deep and will likely only improve with age.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Touchstone / Disney
Sony PSP

Special Features

"Beneath the Surface: The Making of Dark Water" featurette; "The Sound of Terror: The Subliminal Soundscapes of Dark Water" - Featurette on the movie's sound design; Wall of water

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Connelly Dahlia
John C. Reilly Mr. Murray
Tim Roth Jeff Platzer
Dougray Scott Kyle
Pete Postlethwaite Veeck
Camryn Manheim Teacher
Ariel Gade Ceci
Perla Haney-Jardine Natasha / Young Dahlia
Debra Monk Young Dahlia's Teacher
Linda Emond Mediator
Bill Buell Mediator
J.R. Horne Man in Tram
Elina Löwensohn Dahlia's Mother
Warren Belle UPS Man
Alison Sealy-Smith Radiology Clinic Supervisor
Simon Reynolds Man in Elevator
Kate Hewlett Teacher's Aide
Jennifer Baxter Mary
Diego Fuentes Night Doorman
Zoe Heath Natasha's Mother
muMs Platzer's Backseat Client
Matt Lemcke Steve
Edward Kennington Billy

Technical Credits
Walter Salles Director
Angelo Badalamenti Score Composer
Michael Barosky Sound Mixer
Affonso Beato Cinematographer
Jack Boem Asst. Director
Lauren A. Bonfiglio Stunts
Rudy Braun Set Decoration/Design
Peter M. Chesney Special Effects Supervisor
Angelo Colavecchia Camera Operator
Mavis Corrigan Stunts
Blaise Corrigan Stunts
Doug Davison Producer
Therese DePrez Production Designer
Tina Earnshaw Makeup
Tom Farr Stunts
Sound For Film Sound Editor
Mali Finn Casting
Marc Fisichella Production Designer
Kerry Foster Associate Producer
Frank Gaeta Sound/Sound Designer
Kirk R. Gardner Camera Operator
Glen Gauthier Sound Mixer
Tina Gerussi Casting
Jeffrey Lee Gibson Stunts
Frank Graziadei Sound/Sound Designer
David Hallinan Asst. Director
Sandy Hays Camera Operator
Amy Herman Production Manager
Shawn Holden Sound Mixer
Takashige Ichise Producer
Grant Wilfley Casting Incorporated Casting
Kelly Jones Stunts
Chloe Jones Stunts
Ciara Jones Stunts
Dana Jones Stunts
Ashley Kramer Executive Producer
Nicholas Lundy Art Director
Bill Mechanic Producer
Diana Pokorny Co-producer
Daniel Rezende Editor
Monty Rowan Camera Operator
Roy Lee Producer
Morgan Rue Stunts
Michael Shocrylas Set Decoration/Design
Gordon J. Smith Makeup Special Effects
Jay Spadaro Stunts
Andrew M. Stearn Art Director
Mike Thomas Camera Operator
Grant Van Der Slagt Set Decoration/Design
Paul Varrieur Camera Operator
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Michael Wilkinson Costumes/Costume Designer
Rafael Yglesias Screenwriter

Customer Reviews

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Dark Water 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How can anyone say this was a good movie? Okay the acting is good, but the movie is not scary! It's really boring and does not keep your attention! I saw it in theaters and somehow made it through just to see if the end was worth it, but nothing is really that good about the movie. Not recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was chilling, sad and utterly amazing, and I loved it! ANybody want a psychological thriller that will make you jump? Get this movie! 9 A- ***
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this movie the first day in theaters and I bought it when it came out. It is aedge of your seat thriller that is not to scary, but is a well made movie. I reccomend watching it
Guest More than 1 year ago
I won't say that this was a poor movie,but it doesn't seem to make any sense to me.I did not understand it.From what I can remember it was stupid.I was diappointed.I am still going to buy it on DVD,though.Maybe then I could understand it.I am not one to be so pessimistic about a movie,but Dark Water is an acception.If there was a rating of a questionmark,that's what I would rate it:?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is ok, not scary, more of a drama than anything else. Parts of it could have been made frightening, and intense, but they weren't. All in all, wait for it to be on tv.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the better movies that I have seen. It was very touching to see how a mother would help her daughter so much in such a tough part of both of their lives. I think that every mother could relate to the mother in this movie in some way or another, especially at the end. It just reminds me that my mother is always with me, no matter where I am.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Totally not what I expected. Not scary or "suspenseful" at all. Ok, I take it back... It left me in suspence wondering when the real action or creepy stuff would come. But it never did. Seems the majority of the movie was focus on the mothers problems, then she dies at the end. What's with THAT?!? When this movie was finally over, I thought it was a COMPLETE waste of time. Good thing we only rented it! Had it been labeled as a drama, it MIGHT have been OK. But don't expect much from it otherwise..
Guest More than 1 year ago
I expected this move to be scary, maybe not great, but scary. Boy was I wrong. About every five seconds, I thought, "This is it, this is the scary part." I would flinch and squint my eyes in preparation, but the sacry moment never came, and I watched the UNRATED version. So I wonder, how aweful was the original? Don't waste your time on this movie. It's really not worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago