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Category:    Home > Reviews > Thriller > Supernatural > Dark Water (Blu-ray)

Dark Water (Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: C-     Film: D



It is one thing that we are in an Asian Doppelganger Horror cycle, but the U.S. remakes have often been more embarrassing.  That has included two films each (so far?) based on The Grudge and The Ring, the latter of which is authored by the same writer that has made Walter Salles’ Dark Water (2005) possible.  As to whether the original Japanese film was good or not is for a later review, but despite a sometimes promising screenplay by Rafael Yglesias, the film eventually does not add up and quickly falls apart.


Jennifer Connelly is a now single parent who is doing her best to take care of her daughter (Ariel Gade) and finds a new place in an apartment building that is not great or a total tenement slum either.  Unfortunately, it seems there was a murder in the building and the whole place is haunted; maybe even specifically her new place.  Though it could have been at least interesting, the film goes astray by the middle act and never recovers.  It even has a solid cast in John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlewaite (just wasted in the even worse Omen remake) and Camryn Manheim, but it gets muddled and al you will think when this is over is how much better Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining was.  Points to Connelly for using enough makeup to downplay her beauty.


The 1080p 2.35 X 1 image was purposely made to look a shade dark throughout by digital internegative means and camerawork by Cinematographer Affonso Beato, A.S.C., A.B.C., yet nothing is memorable about the images, they are never that engaging and all involved should have taken basic lessons in Alfred Hitchcock films despite the fact that nothing Hitch ever did was explicitly supernatural.  The lack of suspense and boredom extends to the PCM 5.1 16bit/48kHz mix, which though better than the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, is flat and too impressed with itself.  The PCM is rich and full, with some punchy moments for the moments that are supposed to be scary, but even music by the effective Angelo Badalamenti cannot save this disappointment.


Extras include a Blu-ray-only way to access certain key scenes, two deleted scenes and an analysis of two other scenes that are a little interesting and in part because they are brief.  The film runs 105 minutes and feels longer.  Unless you love Miss Connelly, you can skip this one.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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