In the early 2000's, Japanese Horror movies remakes were the craze. Remakes like 2002 "The Ring" & 2005's "The Grudge", were making vast money. "Dark Water" directed by Walter Salles hope to be, just as big as them. Based on the 2002 Japanese film, which return is based on Floating Water, a short story by Koji Suzuki. Dark Water showed great promise, but the murky tale about a family menaced by the ghost of young girl who drown at a haunted apartment seem so watered down, and generic predictable that it kinda drown on itself. The movie tries to be stand out, yet be extremely faithful to the 2002 film, but it doesn't work. Lot of the movie feels rehashed and often full of clichés. The movie had good actors, but I really didn't think, that they were giving their 'all' in these roles. Jennifer Connelly as the lead character, Dahlia seem deep, but as the plot moves, it clearly shown to be shallow as hell. Dahlia's backstory as an abused child are never really developed or explored meaningfully in the film. They are simply thrown in to the plot in awkward fashion. Jennifer Connelly really lacks the emotional for this role. Not once, was I convince that she was angry, or she was in fear for her life. I know that her character was taking drugs, and maybe it was there to dull, her extremes, but gees- it really overcast the whole film. She did a lot of stupid things that were really bothering. First off, moving in. Most people, even desperate people, confronted with a situation like that would have moved out after a week. Second off, why didn't she move out, quicker, after the events toward the end? It doesn't make sense, to stay in, and take a bath in a murder house after you found out that there was a dead body in the water tank! For a mom so into her daughter's immediate safety and security. It doesn't make sense that she would live there. The father, Kyle (Dougray Scott) is even worst parent. I really hate, the movie for portraying the father as this creepy controlling over the top figure, and then toward the end, force us to feel sympathetic for him. I really hate, how the movie make it seem like he was trying, really hard to unnerve the main character, and make it look like he cares on what happen to Dahlia. It doesn't make any sense. I feel bad, for the kid (Ariel Gade). She's a really cute kid, but she's can't delivered the horrible one-dimensional dialogue, she was given. There are parts of the film, where she kinda shines, but for the most part, she felt like, an unrealistic girl scout, stereotype. There were some added material for some supporting roles which serves absolutely no purpose. A good example is the man the elevator (Simon Reynolds). He failed to advance the plot and he never brought back, up again. Honestly, for being a tenant in the building. You would think, he would give some more exposition, than proving information, we already knew. Tim Roth for instance has some scenes that are there only so he can get some more screen time. It's really hard to take his role as a good lawyer, serious, when he sounds like Jon Lovitz's Tommy Flanagan. The other supporting cast were pretty useless. Pete Postlethwaite as Veeck, should had been, portray more menacing, but they chose to make him, into a clumsy side-character. The only entertaining person in the film was John C. Reilly as Murray, the landlord. I like, how he makes the crappy apartment in Roosevelt Island seem better than it looks. The location does have a creepy environment. I have to give, props to the movie for that. The ghost, not so much. The ghost in the film, really doesn't show her presence, much and the movie has odd moments, where she does. Like how on earth, did was she able to haunt the school, as well? Honestly, how powerful was the ghost!? The movie really has vague answers for these questions. The movie doesn't have that many jump scares. In many ways, the movie drives the symbolism that it's always raining, a little too much. It kinda got annoying, at times. I really hate, how much water was wasted for this film. The movie has a lot of ominous music that tells you when a suspenseful moment is around the corner and creeping about in apartments over and over again. Yet, there is little suspense. The movie downplay the overt horror elements of the original and becoming more of a character study / dramatic psychological thriller with a focus on paranoia and atmosphere over scares. It kinda works, but it's also doesn't. The movie pacing moves really slowed, and not much, of the main plot, get done, during the time. The movie pacing really doesn't help push the plot, along. It just creates, more sub-plots, like Dahlia looking for work, a lawyer, and a good school. Honestly, the movie works more like a divorce drama, than a horror film. I hate how the movie is so sluggish and lazy. It reused shots, way too much. It felt cheap. The movie moves into more trouble water with the awful ending that really made the film, much worse than it could had been. I like the 2002 ending better. The movie is probably more, scary, today, then when it came out. In 2013, a woman name Elisa Lam was found death at the Cecil hotel in Los Angeles, when she drown in the hotel water tank. The circumstances of her death have been compared to plot elements in this film, such as the names of the characters, the dysfunctional elevator and discolored water gushing from the building's faucets. Overall: This character-driven film was sorely underdeveloped. I wish it was better.
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