Dark Water – A DVD Review

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Dark Water is a 2005 drama-horror film starring Jennifer Connelly (Blood Diamond). Dark Water is a remake of a 2002 Japanese film of the same name. Directed by Walter Salles, Dark Water also stars John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Perla Haney-Jardine and Ariel Gade.

Jennifer Connelly plays a single mother named Dahlia who is starting her life over after a bitter divorce from her husband Kyle, who considers Dahlia unstable. While apartment hunting, Dahlia and her daughter Cecilia, nick-named Ceci, visit a rundown apartment building on Roosevelt Island.

Cecilia hates the drab, dreary building on sight, but after she disappears for a few minutes and finds a Hello Kitty backpack near a large water tank on the roof of the building, she develops a sudden, powerful desire to live there. Due to her limited finances and the apartment’s proximity to Ceci’s new school, Dahlia puts a down payment on the apartment, and they move in.

Strange noises from the apartment above them and a mysterious leak in the ceiling cause Dahlia to have a confrontation with the building super. Dahlia learns the apartment above has been vacant a month, but she visits it to find it fully furnished, with dark water spewing from every faucet. At about the same time, Ceci is discovered to have an invisible friend named Natasha. This sets the stage for the moderately suspenseful and pretty predictable climax.

In spite of Jennifer Connelly’s performance, I rate Dark Water D for Dank, Dreary, Depressing, Dismal, Dark, and Derivative. It appears it rains constantly on Roosevelt Island, and Dahlia’s migraines were accompanied by discordant music. (That means I can also add Discordant to my alliterative list of descriptive terms for Dark Water.)

The Dark Water story is too much a knock-off of The Ring to be very surprising or even frightening, and Jennifer Connelly/Dahlia’s problems with the mysterious spreading leak on her ceiling never fully engage the viewer. Still, Dark Water will appeal to some fans of the horror genre. There are some suspenseful scenes, and the ending, although somewhat predictable, is sweeter then I expected. If you were wise enough to avoid Dark Water in the theaters, you might want to give the DVD — on sale — a try.

The unrated Dark Water DVD is 103 minutes which is actually shorter than the theatrical release

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