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Dark Water (unrated)
DVD disk
Jan 3, 2006 By: Quigles
Dark Water (unrated) order
Director:
Walter Salles

Actors:
Jennifer Connelly
John C. Reilly
Tim Roth

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A woman, fighting against her ex for custody of her daughter, contends with bad plumbing in a gloomy and decrepit apartment.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Normally, when I associate "water" with "horror", I think of JAWS. That movie did in fact (as the tagline stated) make me feel unsafe to go back in the water. Maybe DARK WATER should have played to this, with a possible tagline of "just when you thought it was safe to use the sink faucet". Or maybe even "just when you thought it was safe to do your laundry". Or heck, how about "just when you thought it was safe to sit on the toilet". Not very scary, eh? Well, neither is DARK WATER. As I was watching the film, I came to two important conclusions. First, that water is only scary if there are sharks in it, and second, that despite the "Unrated" labeling on the DVD, Jennifer Connelly was in fact NOT going to have a nude scene. *sigh*

On a more positive side, the dramatic (or rather, melodramatic) side to the movie is handled very well. Plus, the film does a good job at portraying its gloomy atmosphere by always instilling a strong sense of bleakness, and never once letting the audience feel an ounce of happiness. Oh wait, that's not really much of an accomplishment (unless of course you enjoy being depressed). Personally, I don't like "downer" movies, and DARK WATER certainly fits that category. It also fits the category of "been there, done that", feeling very similar to THE RING and THE GRUDGE. That's not much of a surprise though, considering both the latter films and this one are remakes of much better movies from Japan (although THE RING is close competition to its Japanese counter-part).

If there was one thing about DARK WATER that impressed me, it was the cast. Jennifer Connelly once again showed off her acting prowess, conveying rather strongly what a troubled soul her character is. More minor side characters were also able to shine, such as John C. Reilly (the unhelpful, goofy landlord) and Pete Postlethwaite (the grumpy superintendent). However, my favorite character by far was the guy who played Connelly's lawyer, Tim Roth. Where has this guy been? I was so happy to see him! His role is small, but he kept me watching, and I guess that's what counts. Without him and Connelly, I'm sure I would have fallen asleep, 'cause I sure as well wasn't being kept on the edge of my seat.
THE EXTRAS
In terms of special features this film has quite a few (although some aren't that great). As for the UNRATED label, it's kind of a joke (but not in the funny "haha" way). This cut is actually shorter that the theatrical release by two minutes. The only thing altered is the editing on a few of the scenes. Oh joyous day, what a difference!

Beneath the Surface: The Making of Dark Water (15:48): This extra is separated into five super-short sections, including: Beyond the Horror, Water By Design, An Island Apart, Deep water, and A Director's Vision. These discuss various aspects of the story, production design, on-set filming, and working with the director. It also comes complete with an excessive amount of cast/crew praise and footage from the actual film.

The Sound of Terror (7:19): This featurette plays a lot like the one above, except that it discusses the movie's sound design (one of the flick's high points). Scott Millan (the recording mixer) and other sound-related crew members tell their thoughts.

Deleted Scenes (1:50): There are two short scenes, neither of which are worth your time.

Extraordinary Ensemble (25:55): This featurette goes to great lengths in order to praise each and every central member of this film's production. The main cast is discussed, and so is the crew. They should all be very proud.

Analyzing Dark Water Scenes (5:49): There are three scenes discussed. The first two examine the scenes like miniature making-of featurettes, while the third one is much more interesting. You can either listen to the commentary on it, or switch between several different tracks on the audio (each featuring solo audio for the sound effects, music, dialogue, etc).

There are also 6 Sneak Peeks.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Personally, I'm getting pretty tired of horror films with evil ghost girls - they just aren't scary anymore. And water hasn't ever been scary. Add those two elements and what do you get? Not a good horror film, that's for sure. At least the casting and dramatic storyline somewhat make up for what this dull horror dud is lacking.
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