Well, I think the title speaks for itself. This movie was absolute swill. I mean, the utter bottom of the barrel. The great cast (including some of my favorite actors, John C. Reilly and Pete Postlethwaite) could not save it. It was boring, non-scary, horribly paced, and utterly anticlimactic.
Without spoiling anything for those of you who are planning to see the movie (DON’T!) I’ll try to describe what frustrated me about it. It was essentially the same couple of scenes repeated over and over again. Someone stares at ceiling, looking at dark water…little girl has feelings of fear, accompanied by musical crescendos that lead to nothing…Jennifer Connelly has heart-wrenching (bah) retrospective about her distant mother. Over, and over, and over.
You expect a plot twist and none happens. You expect a character to develop, and s/he does not. You expect something to scare you, and you are let down again. The fear element of this movie consists of a few totally generic “ghostly little girl” pop-up jump scenes (barely even) apparently snatched from Ring 2’s cutting room floor, happening at totally predictable moments.
I understand that this is a remake of a Japanese movie, and that it is supposed to be “Japanese-style horror.” The thing is, Japanese culture and its attitudes towards ghosts, death, and fear, are very different from those of Western moviegoers. There may be intensely frightening and sorrowful emotions connected to the absence of family and the trapping of a soul inside the spirit world that would resonate very powerfully with a viewer who was from Japan. In my opinion, these things do not translate to Western audiences, because of our different cultural values and what we have been conditioned to fear. This movie wasn’t made in Japan and it wasn’t made for Japan. I would rather have watched the Japanese movie with subtitles, if only for the authenticity, than be subjected to the ham-fisted American represenation of it anyway.
Now that my logical and scholarly dissertation about the movie is over, I’ll get back to my pure vitriolic hate. This movie sucked donkey dick. I hate movies with little kids, especially little kids that have “invisible friends.” What happened to Leatherface? Michael Meyers? Where’s the heart-pumping adrenaline and the ghoulish villains? Even the “jump scenes” didn’t make me jump. I actually liked Saw, and personally I didn’t mind 28 Days Later. So why is this Dark Water crap marketed as a horror movie if it has no horror in it?
I’m not just a slasher or zombie fan. I love a good psychological thriller too. But Dark Water isn’t one of those either. There’s nothing thrilling about it. There is no suspense and tension. There’s really no interesting psychological concept to wrap your head around either. No plot twists…no plot at all, really.
Bunch of bullshit. This movie is garbage. Don’t waste your time. And it drags on so much, too! You’ll feel like you sat in the theater for four hours.