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

  • Pacifying the Future
  • Pacifying the Future

    A local homebuilder has embraced a design strategy that could be the future of buildings
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Surge Protectors
  • Surge Protectors

    Solar and wind power need batteries to be reliable; Demand Energy's software makes those batteries more efficient
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Innovation Station
  • Innovation Station

    Toolbox is a space for innovative products to grow
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Think & Drink: "Writing in the Margins: Race in Literature"

Think & Drink: "Writing in the Margins: Race in Literature" @ Lindaman's

Tue., April 28, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

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

  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation