Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by Mike Corrigan & r & & r & Dark Water & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & he stylish hand of Japanese filmmaker Hideo Nakata returned last year in the form of an American remake of his 2002 hit, Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara (aka Dark Water). What makes Nakata's original work so effective is how he elicits fear using atmosphere and mood rather than through gory special effects, jump cuts and over-the-top Hollywood scores. Nakata's Ringu, for instance, outclassed the American remake, The Ring, by establishing a genuine feeling of dread with subtle visuals and sound effects and a character-driven plot. It's not what you see in these films, but what you feel that makes you want to check that locked door just one more time.


Fortunately, Dark Water director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) has taken a lesson from the Japanese master. He immediately establishes sympathy for the mother-and-daughter principal characters (Jennifer Connelly and Ariel Gade) as they try to make the best of an increasingly dismal situation. The sickly yellow lighting inside of their shabby apartment block casts a menacing pall. The building vibrates with an odious history. The soundtrack (by Angelo Badalamenti, a frequent David Lynch associate) is restrained, providing nudges rather than shoves.


Both lead performances are solid (and Gade is a young charmer). Just once, however, I'd like to see Connelly in a role that required her to play something other than a victim. Here she plays a mother in trouble. She has trouble with her ex, trouble with the building super and trouble inside her own head. She also has persistent trouble with the building's plumbing. Leaks. Yep, that pesky dark water.


The main problem with Dark Water is the similarity of its story line to that of films in the Ring series wherein the spirit of a dead child haunts those with a physical or psychological connection. Mystery buffs will have the hook figured out within the first three minutes. But what Dark Water may lack in originality and surprise, it makes up for with a gnawing sense of impending doom and with characters we care about. They're what draws you into this tale and keeps you engaged through the film's somber but satisfying conclusion.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Skunked
  • Skunked

    Why Spokane County Commissioners passed a temporary ban on new outdoor pot farms without telling anyone
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Prisoner Problems
  • Prisoner Problems

    Computer errors continue to plague state Department of Corrections; plus, Washington ranked first in pro-charter-school policies
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • In Defense of Refugees
  • In Defense of Refugees

    In the aftermath of the presidential election, local residents seek ways to love and support their refugee friends
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science

Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 6

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


TRAIL MIX


Comment


Readers also liked…

  • In the Spotlight
  • In the Spotlight

    Do you have the right to project your slogan on someone else's wall?
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • Priced Out
  • Priced Out

    Spokane rents aren't as bad as in some other cities, but tell that to people spending more than half of their income on housing
    • May 6, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation