Dark Water (2005)  

A remake of the Japanese 2002 film of the same name, Dark Water has its share of spooky elements and is a rather effective creepy thriller — right up until the time you realize that it’s not really Dark Water at all, but rather a liquefied version of The Ring or Ringu or whatever you wanna call it.
 
That’s not coincidental. Both Dark Water and Ringu are based on novels by Kôji Suzuki. As a result, the film adaptations, like the author, go to the same well once too often.
 
Checklist the similarities:
• A single mother trying to do the best she can and battling self-doubt as she raises her quasi-psychic child.
• A constant, relentless rain; at least The Ring had the good sense to make the locale Seattle.
• A creepy dead girl, victimized by bad parenting and now in the market for a new mommy figure.
• Oh, and lots of yucky, dark H20 and something involving a well or a water tank or any other water receptacle you can think of.
 
As the single mom, Jennifer Connelly does a fine job, and the supporting cast — led by Tim Roth and John C. Reilly — is equally terrific. But an awful lot of horror-flick cliches lead to a wholly unsatisfying conclusion here. It’s a bummer, too, because director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) does a masterful job with the atmospherics. —Phil Bacharach

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One Response to “Dark Water (2005)  ”

  • Patrick Says:

    I saw the Japanese verison first and it was better than most of the Japanese horror film that were being made at the time. So I had some hope for this. But the director does not understand the different between Horror and Dark atmosphere.
    Most of the Japanese movie plot was thrown out. And I can’t figure out what was put in it place.

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