Dark Water (2005) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Dahlia Williams and her daughter Cecelia move into a rundown apartment on New York's Roosevelt Island. She is currently in the midst of divorce proceedings and the apartment, though near an excellent school for her daughter, is all she can afford. From the time she arrives, there are mysterious… Runtime: 105 min Release Date: 08 Jul 2005
Don't be fooled: you're not going to go see a horror movie. You're going to immerse yourself into a strange, morbid atmosphere that will carry you through an intimate, beautifully filmed story where it's the atmosphere and the characters that count. Yes, there's a few horror elements, but they are a subtle, underlying subplot that does not interfere with the delicate, smooth direction of Walter Salles. Nothing in this film is meant to scare you, but rather to leave a sense of discomfort after you've seen it. A sense of paranoia, like the main character's. And <more>
Jennifer Connelly is absolutely fantastic here. Much stronger than the original: here, the characters are real, and Salles connect us to their turmoil right away. Reminiscent of a Henry James novel, where fear builds up in the background as you share more and more of the main character's feeling. In a word: sophisticated. Different. The only similar experiment of this kind of subtle fear, injected in your imagination as you watch the film, is an Italian short I saw at last year's Frighfest, entitled "Xchange". While you wait to be scared on screen, the story almost subliminally built horror in the audience's mind. A must see.
Excellent piece of psychological work (by velcrohead)
I'm at a loss to describe why so many people here have panned this movie. I can only suppose that those who didn't like it went to see this expecting a horror movie. And since no monsters jumped out and hacked people to death, I imagine teenagers apparently the main demographic that posts here were bored to death with it. They couldn't understand why there wasn't a mutilated corpse every half step. Their A.D.D.-addled brains couldn't sit still long enough to decipher the complex plot points or to appreciate good character-building something sorely lacking from movies <more>
nowadays. Comparing this movie to "The Ring" is like comparing "Godfather" to "Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer." The movies are in two completely separate genres.I blame the marketing department. The promos did make it look like a fright-fest. One might have expected ghosts to be flying around the room a la "Poltergeist." I suppose they must have assumed that those of us who like movies that actually engage us and make us think weren't a very big market. Instead, they chose to market it to the "slasher movie" ilk, and they, being simplistic, got headaches trying to sift through an actual PLOT. Then they went home to listen to their Korn CDs and smoke pot.Anyway, that being said, I approached the movie with all the preconceptions I just mentioned. And if you do have those preconceptions and are unwilling to give them up, the movie will drag on mercilessly for you. However, I switched modes quite easily, and became intrigued with the plot. It led me one way and then another, every time giving me something new to think about.Nobody can criticize the acting here, either. Jennifer Connelly is superb as always, but the young daughter is quite skilled as well, and I expect to see her more often in the future.I won't get into specifics, but the ending is something I really wasn't looking for.As I left the theater, all the adults most of whom didn't know each other were talking about what a great movie it was as we filed out the doors. The teenagers in the theater were too busy making out to notice the credits rolling.View if you're mature. If you're not, save yourself the brain-strain and go rent "Seed of Chucky" and leave the grown folks alone.
Having seen both the Japanese original and Walter Salles' remake i find the remake was the best thing that could happen to this story. Salles picks up the original story without making just a copy. He fills the gaps and there were plenty , corrects a lot of little flaws and adds the credibility that was lacking in the original. The original was in parts a horror movie, and a very poor one so. Predictable behavior, foreseen turnings, forced mysteriousness - the usual problems i have with so many horror movies. The other part is a family drama, with a weird happy end. The happiness of <more>
which intrudes into the horror story and further degrades it. Salles goes more than a step further here by not making a simple horror movie. Rather he's making a stressful movie. Stress? The stresses of everyday life in a difficult situation. A recent divorce, fighting for the custody of the child, low budget, cheap noisy apartment with wet ceiling, trouble at school, no contact with neighbors, careless caretakers and managers. It's a context fueled by very real issues people are struggling with every day. The mysterious components only add to this and drive it, until they finally take over. Very dense atmosphere and Jennifer Connelly's excellent acting make you feel this stress. What more can you ask for?
Good character-driven human drama; I blame the teenagers for the low rating. (by Potty-Man)
Once more, a great injustice has been done by IMDb voters. Dark Water currently has a rating of 5.4, with 16% of the voters giving it a 1! Note that 16% is 251 users, so it's not that a lot of people thought it was bad, it just that not many people saw it and/or voted.It's quite obvious what happened. In what must be the most idiotic marketing move of the century, Dark Water was promoted as a horror movie. Not only is the original Japanese version not that scary to begin with, and focuses more on the drama and the human aspects of the story, but in the remake, the horror element <more>
completely gets thrown out the window in favor of an intelligent, mature human drama. I can say that 75% of the people who were with me in the theater had no idea what kind of movie this is going to be. Needless to say, about an hour into it they began shifting in their seats, chatting or giggling. Most of them were teenagers, who came looking for cheap thrills and got a "bore-fest" instead. The same kind of teenagers who, I bet, later voted it a 1.True, the movie could have been edited a little tighter, and some sequences could have been left on the editing room floor, but it's not boring. It does take its time establishing and developing the relationships and the characters, but since the movie is all about the characters, that's a good thing. It's quite an ambitious drama, and as such, it doesn't always strike home. The script, I think, is the main problem. Since it presents us with very real people with real problems, but doesn't seem to know where to take them from there. As a result, the plot is thin. It's certainly not an event-driven movie. It remains unclear what the main conflict is for the heroine. The writer wasn't fine tuned on what he wanted to say, or maybe the director, Walter Salles, mishandled the material. For me, the story was about learning to let go, and the difference between loving someone and wanting them to be happy, and loving someone so much that you want that person to belong only to you. It's the difference between being willing to sacrifice vs. a selfish and possessive kind of love. I think the movie should have put more weight on that.Other than that, the film does strike the right chords more often than not, and provides a lot of touching, sad moments. The acting is wonderful and three dimensional. All of the cast does an excellent job, but especially Jennifer Connelly, who proves once more she is the best American actress working today. The cinematography and the art design are beautiful, with a lot of attention to atmosphere. Also, Walter Salles shows some neat directing techniques in playing with the viewer's minds, making us doubt what's real and what's imaginary, and giving visual expression to the heroine's ever deteriorating state of mind.All in all, I'd rate this movie a 7.5. But 5.4?!!!! That's lower than Fantastic Four, for crying out loud. I just hope that it finds the right audience when it's released on DVD.
Don't know about you all, but I've sort of had it up to here with teenagers. Walter Salles' *Dark Water* flopped because of teenagers. The geniuses up the highway from me at the Walt Disney Company tried to market this psychological drama -- in SUMMER! -- to teenagers as a slasher film . . . OOPS. When the teenagers discovered that the film's primary concern was with a troubled single mother, fresh from a nasty divorce and currently embroiled in a custody fight, they lost patience with it the screen offering no steaming entrails oozing from savagely slashed pregnant abdomens <more>
and such and commenced downloading ring-tones from Katazo on their cellphones in the darkened theaters. The epilogue to the sorry saga of this film's release? The teenagers infest this website with their 1-star reviews and poor grammar and ALL CAPS SENTENCES. Look, I've got an idea: I think it's high time that the folks at IMDb create an entirely separate website -- let's call it "IMDbTeen" -- in which the children can vent their spleen and leave THIS site for the rest of us to discuss movies. And no, banishing the youngsters to the discussion boards won't cut the mustard -- the Ritalin-addicted kids, thumbs sore from their PSPs, have obviously found their way to the review pages. Or perhaps IMDb, which is owned by Amazon, can follow their corporate parent's lead and force teenagers to identify themselves as such -- the rest of us can then ignore their comments.Pardon the W.C. Fields rant, but *Dark Water* is too good a film to be hijacked by walking pimple sacks, sorry. Here is a great work of art that has been virtually disowned by its director because of the poor box office returns. Hey, Salles, if you're reading this, there's no reason for you to hang your head in shame over this picture. I, for one, appreciated your baroque homage to Polanski's *Repulsion*, and can even state that the performance you get out of Jennifer Connelly actually surpasses Deneuve's work in that earlier film. Connelly thoroughly inhabits the role -- an unglamorous one that asks this beautiful actress to dress in ratty clothes while suffering from constant migraines. She convinces us as a desperate case, both financially and emotionally, and also convinces us that Dahlia is an honest-to-goodness mom Connelly has a couple of kids in real life, which not only helps, but is a necessity on an actress' resume if she presumes to play this part . And it's not just Connelly who scores in the acting department: John C. Reilly as the superintendent delivers an immortal monologue mostly improvised, according to the DVD extras as he offers Dahlia and her daughter a grand tour of the hideous housing project on Roosevelt Island that is the setting of the movie. "Where's the living room?" asks Dahlia. "This is it," effuses Reilly, "It's both bedroom AND living room! It's what they call a DUAL-USE room. Look at it -- it's huge!" Anyone who has ever dealt with a real estate agent will recognize Reilly's canny mix of friendliness and utter untrustworthiness. A-class talent such as Pete Postlethwaite and Tim Roth also make significant contributions as the building's janitor and Dahlia's lawyer, respectively.But the prime virtue of the film is in the photography and set design. *Dark Water* is that rarest of horror films: it's set in the city. Roosevelt Island, to be precise, that run-down spit of land across the river from Manhattan, encrusted with Soviet-bloc inspired tenement housing. "The Brutalist style," as Reilly would have it. Salles' DP has a field day in this environment, getting some nice aerial shots of the brick and cement rat maze, as well as some low shots pointing up toward the tenement towers' imposing height. The weather is usually rainy the incessant leitmotiv of the film is water, obviously , the sky is gun-gray, smokestacks dominate the horizon, the overall color palette consists of institutional gray, poverty-row brown, icky black, depression blue. The interiors, specifically of Dahlia and Ceci's apartment -- along with the mysterious 10-F directly upstairs -- is a fond homage to Catherine Deneuve's greasy, miserable apartment in Polanski's *Repulsion*, with some nods thrown towards the Coens' *Barton Fink* along the way especially in regards to the peeling plaster and moist dry-wall and overall dilapidation .But is *Dark Water* really scary? Presumably, this would be the point. It's probably not scary enough to scare the pimple sacks, but it's scary enough for those who've had to deal with life's most fundamental problems, such as raising a child alone, or finding oneself crippled by either physical or mental handicaps, aggravated by an unhappy past, WHILE raising a child alone. In other words, it's scary enough for grown-ups, who can find terror in watching their children cross a busy intersection. And in any case, Salles delivers a few choice jolts along the way, which I won't spoil. But the genius of the film is in its atmosphere: an unrelenting brooding menace that feeds off of urban misery. *Dark Water* is depressing and scary.And splendid. 9 ardent stars out of 10.
Gives the original a nice dousing of reality. (by sallyfifth)
This is not a "child talks to dead people" movie. You should rejoice. It's not a "woman fights supernatural forces" thriller. You should get down on your knees and thank the powers that be. This is not "just an unnecessary re-make of the Japanese original". It's better. Nakata is famous for taking the long view of his characters. Keeping us safe emotionally from them in order to bring the horror to life. Salles trumps him by pulling us right into Dahlia's arms where her fear, paranoia, and despair are absolutely palpable. This is the story of a single <more>
mother trying to survive after a nasty divorce. Trying to hold onto her daughter so she can overcome her own history of abandonment. The ghosts whether real or imagined are peripheral to her dilemma. The American Dark Water, gives us the same foreboding leak, the same bleak horrific photography, the same basic plot line, and yet by taking the emphasis off the ghosts reaches a much stronger emotional resonance. Highly recommended for those that submit themselves to movies, rather than submit movies to themselves. You know who you are.
I have never posted a review on this site, but I feel that I should inform some people on "Dark Water".This is NOT a horror film.Yes,it's being marketed that way but it's not.This is a drama about a mother and daughter trying to make it on their own with a bit of a ghostly twist.Jennifer Connelly is amazing and has become one of my favorite actresses.In this,she is strong and fragile.She almost made me cry once or twice as she tried to hold things together and convince herself that she is not crazy.The little girl playing her daughter is sublime;The next dakota fanning <more>
maybe. This film is slow paced,there are NO big scares,no blood-just tension and mystery under the surface.The pace brings you to really care about the characters and not root for dahlia because it's Jennifer Connelly,but because it's Dahlia.It has one of the saddest yet hopeful endings I've seen in a while.This stands head and shoulders above "The Ring" which I liked and "The Grudge".Give it a try if you're looking for a good drama.
Of all the recent remakes of Japanese horror films, I have to say that Dark Water is the only remake that actually surpasses the original. I think the reason that so many people are so hard on it is because they went in expecting to see THE RING or THE GRUDGE. They went in expecting to see a scary ghost movie. Dark Water is not really a horror movie, at least not in the traditional sense. It's actually more of a drama set in a haunted apartment complex. If you go in expecting to have stuff jump out at you, you will be disappointed.It's sad that everyone expects horror films to have a <more>
bunch of jump scares in them these days. Whatever happened to the slow buildup of tension and paranoia of something like ROSEMARY'S BABY? If you go into Dark Water expecting something more akin to Rosemary's Baby or a Hitchcock thriller, you might just end up enjoying this film.As far as comparing this remake to the original, I will say that I felt that Jennifer Connelly was a much more compelling character than the mother in the original movie. Overall, the characters were fleshed out better. I understood the conflict between the mother, the father and the little girl much more in the remake. The original just sort of glanced over many of these details. Some of the shots were actually more effective than the ones in the original, and the ending in the remake is more satisfying and better executed than in the original. Generally, I think that J-horror is better left in its original incarnation. As much as I liked the Western version of THE RING, I felt like the only reason they remade it was to cast Naomi Watts as the lead. THE GRUDGE, they should have left that one alone. Nothing was gained by Sarah Michelle Gellar. But this one, this one is actually better than the Japanese original in my opinion.This movie is not for everyone. It is a slow, poignant drama set in a really creepy location. It would probably play well in a double feature with ROSEMARY'S BABY. If you want to have stuff jump out at you, watch THE GRUDGE. If you want to watch a movie that has a little more depth to it, watch DARK WATER.
WOW! This movie is totally awesome! Jennifer is just amazing and the direction of the amazing Walter Salles is top notch and totally flawless! The movie is tense, scary and yet believable.A movie truly underrated by the fury of the geeks that simply cannot accept a remake that is CLEARLY best than the original! Don't believe in what they say! The original is a totally amateur film, poorly directed and with a shameous production.Just remembering, the original is full of junk actings and is a "direct to video" movie.I don't have nothing against the j-horrors, i loved Ju-ON and <more>
Chakushin Ari, but this remake is far batter than the Japanese, believe me!If you are a j-horror fan, don't be childish and give a chance to this remake!For me, the best horror movie since Signs!JUST RUN FOR THE THEATER!