IMDb > Dark Water (2002)
Honogurai mizu no soko kara
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Dark Water (2002) More at IMDbPro »Honogurai mizu no soko kara (original title)


Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   21,787 votes »
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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Kôji Suzuki (novel) and
Ken'ichi Suzuki (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Dark Water on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 January 2002 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
From The Creators of Japan's Acclaimed RINGU, Inspiration for the hit phenomenon THE RING
Plot:
A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
6 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(9 articles)
Ranked: Every Summer Movie Season Since 1980 - Part 1
 (From Cinelinx. 8 September 2014, 4:11 AM, PDT)

DVD Review: 'The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck & God
 (From CineVue. 14 January 2013, 9:00 AM, PST)

See a Freaky Horny Chick in Playing House
 (From Best-Horror-Movies.com. 27 July 2011, 4:49 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The message? Don't be late to pick your child up from school See more (155 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Hitomi Kuroki ... Yoshimi Matsubara
Rio Kanno ... Ikuko Matsubara (6 years old)
Mirei Oguchi ... Mitsuko Kawai
Asami Mizukawa ... Ikuko Hamada (16 years old)
Fumiyo Kohinata ... Kunio Hamada
Yu Tokui ... Ohta (real-estate agent)
Isao Yatsu ... Kamiya (apartment manager)
Shigemitsu Ogi ... Kishida (Yoshimi's lawyer)
Maiko Asano ... Young Yoshimi's Teacher
Yukiko Ikari ... Young Yoshimi
Shinji Nomura ... Mediator
Kiriko Shimizu ... Mediator
Teruko Hanahara ... Old Lady (twin, elder)
Youko Yasuda ... Old Lady (twin, younger)
Kono Tarou Suwa ... Old Lady (twin, younger)
Shichirou Gou ... Nishioka
Chisako Hara ... Kayo
Tôru Shinagawa ... Principal (as Tohur Shinagawa)

Shelley Calene-Black ... Yoshimi Matsubara (voice: English version)
Gabi Chennisi ... Ikuko Matsubara (voice: English version)
Jay Hickman ... Kishida (voice: English version)
Mark Laskowski ... Ohta (voice: English version) (as Mark X. Laskowski)
Chris Ayres ... Principal (voice: English version) (as Christopher Ayres)

Andy McAvin ... Kunio (voice: English version)

Jessica Boone ... Teen Ikuko (voice: English version)
Ted Pfister ... Kamiya (voice: English version)
John Swasey ... Mediator (voice: English version)
Heather LeMaster ... Mediator (voice: English version)

Vic Mignogna ... Kono (voice: English version)
Vicki Barosh ... Auntie Kayo / Old Woman A (voice: English version)

Christine M. Auten ... Teacher Past / Ai's Mother / Recorded Message (voice: English version) (as Christine Auten)
Mariela Ortiz ... Teacher B (voice: English version)
Amanda Nanawa ... Teacher C / Mother (voice: English version)

Kaytha Coker ... Tshushima (voice: English version)
Quentin Haag ... Nishioka (voice: English version)
Luci Christian ... Teen Girl A / Answering Machine / Lady Directions (voice: English version)
April Brem ... Teen Girl B / Office Worker (voice: English version)
Mia ... Ai / The Ghost of Mitsuko / Hiding Girl A / Young Yoshimi (voice: English version)

Lidia Porto ... Secretary / Old Woman B / Additional Voices (voice: English version)
Cynthia Martinez ... Hiding Girl B / Additional Voices (voice: English version)
Hilary Haag ... Mao-chan / Additional Voices (voice: English version)
Kyle Jones ... Father / Mover A (voice: English version) (as K.C. Jones)
Rebecca Ayres ... Little Boy / Kobayashi / Additional Voices (voice: English version)
Emma Crabb ... Assistant / Potential Buyer (voice: English version)
Jacob A. Gragard ... Worker A / Mover C (voice: English version)
Matthew Crawford ... Worker B / Mover B (voice: English version) (as Matt Crawford)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chihiro Ohtsuka

Directed by
Hideo Nakata 
 
Writing credits
Kôji Suzuki (novel)

Takashige Ichise  screenplay (uncredited)
Yoshihiro Nakamura  screenplay
Hideo Nakata  screenplay (uncredited)
Ken'ichi Suzuki  screenplay

Produced by
Takashige Ichise .... producer
Kyle Jones .... producer (english language & subtitled versions)
John Ledford .... executive producer (english language & subtitled versions)
Mark Williams .... executive producer (english language & subtitled versions)
 
Original Music by
Kenji Kawai 
Shikao Suga 
 
Cinematography by
Jun'ichirô Hayashi 
 
Film Editing by
Nobuyuki Takahashi 
 
Production Design by
Katsumi Nakazawa 
 
Production Management
Katsuhiro Ogawa .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Masaki Adachi .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Jacob A. Gragard .... adr recordist
Cesar Inserny .... sound designer
Cesar Inserny .... sound mixer
Masayuki Iwakura .... sound
Kiyoshi Kakizawa .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Meichô Tomiyama .... lighting technician
 
Editorial Department
Patrick Givens .... editor: english language and subtitled versions
Tarô Kuwayama .... color timer
Neil O'Sullivan .... editor: english language and subtitled versions
 
Other crew
Marta Bechtol .... production assistant: engish language and subtitled versions
Toru Iwakami .... international coordinator: english language and subtitled versions
Kyle Jones .... adr director: English version
Miyuki Kamiya .... production assistant: engish language and subtitled versions
Paul Mericle .... production assistant: engish language and subtitled versions
Sara Muir .... production assistant: engish language and subtitled versions
Maki Nagano .... production assistant: engish language and subtitled versions
Shoko Oono .... senior translator: english language and subtitled versions
Carole Pavlik .... production assistant: engish language and subtitled versions
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Honogurai mizu no soko kara" - Japan (original title)
"From the Depths of Dark Water" - International (English title) (literal title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG-13 for terror and disturbing situations
Runtime:
101 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When everyone is up on the roof examining the water tower, a flap of cloth or pant leg can be seen at the top of the ladder. This could be something attached to the tower, but later when she climbs it by herself and we see the whole thing, no such cloth is visible.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Naina (2005)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
69 out of 79 people found the following review useful.
The message? Don't be late to pick your child up from school, 25 April 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

Yoshimi Matsubara (Hitomi Kuroki) is in the middle of a nasty divorce from her husband, Kunio Hamada (Fumiyo Kohinata). The biggest issue of contention is their daughter, Ikuko (Rio Kanno). Kunio accuses Yoshimi of being unstable, and he seems to have a point. Still, Yoshimi is awarded at least temporary custody of Ikuko. We see her finding an apartment for her and Ikuko to live in. They pick a less-than-ideal apartment, because it is affordable. Soon after, strange occurrences begin. Yoshimi's bedroom ceiling is developing a water stain. Mysterious puddles of water appear in different locations. An unusual item keeps appearing, despite attempts to discard it. Yoshimi periodically sees a strange girl, but only in glimpses. Ikuko begins acting oddly. On top of all this, Yoshimi is trying to go back to work, and she's having trouble balancing that with taking care of Ikuko. Things are spiraling out of control. Are the problems due to Yoshimi's divorce, or is there also something more sinister or supernatural going on?

Despite Dark Water's relatively overt similarities to a number of other filmic works, this is one of director Hideo Nakata's most successful films--at least as good as his famed Ringu (1998), if not better. I came awfully close to giving Dark Water a 10 out of 10, and can easily see myself raising my score on subsequent viewings. Many facets of the film do not open up until you see them again. For example, when fact checking something about the film shortly before writing this review, I re-watched the beginning; the opening credits are extremely eerie, but the full impact doesn't hit you until after you've seen the film once and more fully realize what you're looking at while watching the first shot.

The similarities include quite a few thematic resemblances to Ringu, which shouldn't be surprising considering that not only is Nakata the director for both films, they are both based on novels by the man who is often called "The Japanese Stephen King", at least in the Japanese press--Koji Suzuki.

Like Ringu, Dark Water's menace comes in the form of a young, long haired Japanese girl who makes frequent, mysterious appearances. Girls may be the focus because of irony--they're supposed to be cute (as is Kanno, who turns in a great performance along with her more adult fellow cast) and innocent. A girl menace should therefore be that much more unnerving.

The menace is often accompanied by water. Water was important symbolism in Ringu, too. I would venture a guess that Nakata and/or Suzuki have a fear of water. It might be more impersonal, too. Water is a powerful force, both easily adapting to its surroundings and easily molding them. It permeates much of the world. As such, it's a good visual symbol for kami, which is the Shinto "essence" or "beingness" that permeates everything, and (among many other things) can be godlike, or the soul of a dead human, or tsumi, a "pollution" form of kami which could perhaps be also at least symbolically cleansed by water.

Another important symbolic commonality shared by both Ringu and Dark Water is that of claustrophobic spaces. These occur in Ringu in forms like the well, closets and crawl spaces. Dark Water has the elevator and a structure for which you'll only realize the importance near the end of the film. Water combined with the elevator also enables Nakata to give a nice nod to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980) in one scene.

A further similarity to Ringu is that Dark Water is just as concerned with familial problems as it is concerned with horror. In fact, the horror may only be symbolic or may only be a metaphor for familial problems (in the Ringu/Ring films, this is made even more clear in Nakata's latest, American Ring film--The Ring Two, 2005). Both feature a young mother struggling to maintain a normal existence with her only child. In Dark Water, it is particularly easy to see the horror elements as mere metaphors for Yoshimi's psychological decline and the effects it has on her daughter, which echo her own problematic childhood--we learn that her parents were also divorced when she was young, and the opening dramatic scene of the film shows Yoshimi as a child, waiting at school for someone to pick her up. We also hear her comment that her mother was "bad".

This is not to say that Dark Water has no focus on horror. Nakata's well known deliberate pacing is perfect here. The spooky events are subtle but unnerving, and Nakata achieves some amazing build-ups, such as the scene in the elevator near the end of the film, with a particularly frightening reveal. This reveal works as well as it does because Nakata takes so long to get there. He builds tension through stretching out pregnant pauses until the viewer is ready to burst. There are many such scenes throughout the film.

Dark Water also succeeds because the story is kept relatively simple and straightforward. Unlike typical American films, much of the story is "told" through implication. As a viewer, you are frequently left to figure out decisions and events based on seemingly innocuous comments in an antecedent scene followed by relationship and scenario changes in a following scene. In other words, you have to make assumptions about what has happened. That might sound complex, but the aim, which is wonderfully achieved, is actually to simplify the events on screen. Although that famous Asian horror film dream logic is still present in the supernatural events, it doesn't usurp the plot, which continues to gradually hone in on and build up the tension between Yoshimi, her husband, Ikuko, the mystery girl, and the apartment complex. The ending, which comments on all of those elements and the profound ways that they've changed, is particularly uncanny and poignant.

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