Dark Water (2005) Poster

(2005)

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  • Newly divorced, Dahlia Williams (Jennifer Connelly), along with her six-year-old daughter Cecelia "Ceci" (Ariel Gade), move into a rundown apartment while Dahlia is going through a custody battle with her ex-husband Kyle (Dougray Scott). Not long afterwards, the bedroom ceiling begins leaking dark water, Ceci seems to have picked up an imaginary friend, and Dahlia begins to have visions. Dahlia brushes the visions aside as being caused by stress but, as the haunting worsens, Dahlia starts looking into the history of former tenants.

  • Dark Water is a remake of the 2002 Japanese movie Honogurai mizu no soko kara (2002), which was based on the short story "Floating Water" from the horror anthology Honogurai mizu no soko kara (1996) by Japanese writer Koji Suzuki. The screenplay for Dark Water was written by American screenwriter Rafael Yglesias.

  • The reason for their divorce is not addressed in the movie. However, there are hints that Kyle finds Dahlia to be mentally unstable and that Dahlia suspects Kyle of having an affair, evidenced when Dahlia claims that Kyle wants to live in Jersey City because "she" is there, "she" referring to his new girlfriend.

  • Dahlia begins to pack for their move to Jersey City, while Ceci takes a bath. When Ceci comes out of the tub wearing a hooded bathrobe and asks Dahlia to read her a story, Dahlia snuggles up to her on the couch. Ceci says, "Don't leave me. I want you to be my mommy." Suddenly, Dahlia realizes that the girl is Natasha (Perla Haney-Jardine) and that Ceci is still in the tub, but Natasha has locked the bathroom door and climbed into the tub with Ceci. Dahlia kicks open the bathroom door to find Natasha holding Ceci under the water. As dark water starts pouring out of the drains, Dahlia tries to break the shower stall door with a hair dryer, but the glass is unbreakable. To save Ceci, Dahlia promises to stay with Natasha and be her mother for always. Only then does Natasha release Ceci, but she floods the apartment and Dahlia drowns. The ghosts of Dahlia and Natasha walk down the hall hand-in-hand. The police call Kyle to come pick up Ceci. Three weeks later, Kyle moves Ceci's things out of the apartment. Ceci remembers how her mother used to read to her, and tears well up in her eyes. Kyle and Ceci go downstairs in the elevator, but the elevator door closes before Ceci can get out. Water starts to drip from the ceiling. Dahlia suddenly appears, caresses Ceci, and braids her hair. "Whenever you need me," she whispers, "I'm here." In the final scene, the elevator door opens, Ceci says, "OK, daddy, let's go," and they leave the building together.

  • Thanks to effective marketing, Dark Water was released in two different versions after its theatrical run in American cinemas; the usual theatrical version (full-screen DVD) and an unrated version. More mysterious than the movie itself are the rumours about said versions. On the Internet one can find numerous reviews in which the writers can only remark in consternation that they just can't recognize any difference between the two versions. Some reviewers even claimed that the two versions were identical, and others again that the unrated version only included more swear words.

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