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Dark Water
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Dark Water (2005)

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Plot Summary:
"A mother and daughter, still wounded from a bitter custody dispute, hole up in a run-down apartment building. Adding further drama to their plight, they are targeted by the ghost of former resident."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 28 July 2005 My Rating: out of 5


This limp remake has to be the most pointless one yet, as it manages to take away most of the good parts found in its source material, and doesn't add in anything new to compensate for them either.

Jennifer Connelly plays Dahlia, who is trying to cope as a single parent after separating from her husband. She has to relocate to a poor area, find a new job and try and settle her daughter Ceci into her new life with as little disruption as possible.

This proves difficult however as strange wet patches begin appearing on the ceiling, and before long the spooky goings on become far too frequent for Dahlia's liking.

I didn't dislike this film as it boasts some wonderful performances from a highly talented cast, and Walter Salles also does a good job, but there was absolutely no need to remake it in the first place!

I know that the majority of target audience members are too lazy to read subtitles on foreign films, but that truly appeared to be the only reason for doing this project.

It's dull, dank and murky and began to hurt my eyes as Jennifer Connelly waded through mucky water investigating strange noises and wet patches for close to two hours before the not so shocking climax occurred, and then took forever to finally finish.

The most memorable scenes from the original, such as the moment where the kids play hide and seek in the school, and the truly freaky climax are diluted to the max and none of the supposedly creepy moments even hold your interest enough to be creepy.

I loved that the original had heart and was really a story about the bond between a mother and her child, and had heard that Salles had opted to focus on this aspect in his version. To say I was surprised to see that he hardly touched on the mental health aspect, the paranoia and the bond between the mother and the lawyer would be a huge understatement. Three very important plot points were reduced to a couple of instantly forgettable moments of exposition that led absolutely nowhere.

Not once did I feel that the unexplainable events could have been explained by Dahlia's fragile mental state, nor did we get the impression that her estranged husband was trying to make her life more difficult, and poor Tim Roth, they made him into a total dweeb.

The film plods along in a straight line, failing to provide any moments of suspense, tension or intrigue, and ends rather blandly as well.

The film has nice photography and very good performances but has little else going for it. No wonder then that it did even less business here than it did in the U.S. It does score a bonus point however for it's subtle humour.

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