Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Ariel Gade and Jennifer Connelly
DARK WATER (2005). Director: Walter Salles.

Embroiled in a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband Kyle (Dougray Scott), Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly) moves to Roosevelt Island with her adorable little daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade). It isn't long before weird things begin happening, such as putrid water dripping down from the flooded and deserted apartment one floor above. Dahlia also learns from a teacher (Camryn Manheim) that Ceci has developed a troubling imaginary pal named Natasha. But is she imaginary? Everything is explained by the film's end, but while the movie has some atmosphere and isn't terrible, it's just not that unique or compelling. Jennifer Connelly has certainly developed as an actress since her debut in Dario Argento's Phenomena twenty years earlier. John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, and Pete Postlethwaite give flavorful supporting performances as, respectively, a rental agent, lawyer, and super, and little Gade is quite good, too. Based on a Japanese film, this is one of those movies that turns children into demonic monsters, not a genre I especially care for. NOTE: This is the "unrated" version. The film has no real gore or sexy sequences so I'm not certain what was cut out in the first place.

Verdict: This would have made a nice half hour episode of some supernatural TV series. **1/2.

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