Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Film Review: Dark Water (2005)

Dark Water (Review)
United States/2005
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

Dahlia is currently in a custody battle against her ex-husband, Kyle. Kyle wants Dahlia and their daughter, Cecilia, to move closer to Jersey City, while Dahlia has already set her mind on Roosevelt Island. The apartment she moves into isn't perfect, but it's just enough and it's close to a good school. Eventually, water starts leaking excessively and eerie occurrences begin to haunt Dahlia.

Dark Water continues to play out as a subtle ghost story - you never really see a ghost, at least not a stereotypical ghost. It also tries to play the psychological horror card as Dahlia begins to question her sanity; Is this really happening? Is my ex-husband trying to make me seem crazy? Continuing at its slow-burning pace, the story begins to reveal the sinister secrets within the building. The actual cause of the leakage is depressing - not because it was bad, but because it was actually sad. It all leads up to a bittersweet ending, those final moments were very touching.

I didn't find the Dark Water to be scary. There were a few creepy scenes, but not many. It had a dark, gritty atmosphere throughout, which benefitted those few creepy scenes, though. The psychological aspects of the film are never fully explored, nor are they creatively explored; the divorce and the mediation is rarely effectively used, which makes the psychological aspects inconsequential - there is no significance. Finally, the last few moments of the film may be touching, but the final act, or final sequence, was underwhelming and felt very rushed, especially when compared to the original film.

The acting is great. Jennifer Connelly played Dahlia very competently, she got the job done and emoted the right emotion; she really nailed this performance, although it was a bit simplistic. Ariel Gade played Cecile, I assume she was basically playing herself as she is a little girl anyway. She also capture her character, and I can't help but say she was extremely adorable. The music in this film really added to the eerie atmosphere; the cinematography was very bleak and dark, which also added to the atmosphere of the film positively.

Overall, Dark Water is a good horror-drama film. The story is a little too long, a little too empty, a falls short of complete; but it is drenched in a dark, immersive atmosphere, it has a slow-burning pace, and features some great performances. If you're a fan of the remake genre, or
dislike reading subtitles, I recommend watching this film. Otherwise, Dark Water (2002) is an all-around better film.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence.

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