In 1921, England is overwhelmed by the loss and grief of World War I. Hoax exposer Florence Cathcart visits a boarding school to explain sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes unravels as the 'missing' begin to show themselves.
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 occurrences and there is a constant drip from the ceiling in the only bedroom. There are also noises coming from the apartment directly above hers, though it would appear to be vacant. Is the apartment haunted or is there a simpler explanation? Written by
The characters of the young Dahlia and Natasha Rimsky are played by the same actress Perla Haney-Jardine. This was supposed to show that Dahlia symbolically saw herself in Natasha as they were both young girls who were neglected by their mother (or in Natasha's case both her parents). See more »
(at around 1h 30 mins) Near the end of the movie, a paramedic is heard giving Dahlia's age as 30. However, in the opening scene, Dahlia is seen as a girl of at least five or six in 1974. Thirty-one years later in 2005, she'd be at least 36. See more »
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 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.
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