Reviews

Dark Water

3

Apparently, due to its close proximity to the East River, the temperature on New York's Roosevelt Island is a good six degrees cooler than it is in neighbouring Manhattan. Thank Dougray Scott for that meteorological titbit, served up with an admirably straight face on one of the bland Making Of docs that accompany Walter Salles' classy - but underwhelming - remake of Hideo Nakata's 2002 Jap chiller.

Perhaps the cast is at fault: twinning an Oscar-winning actress (Jennifer Connelly) with an Oscar-nominated ensemble (John C Reilly, Tim Roth, Pete Postlethwaite) puts a burden of expectation on this slim ghost story it's ill-equipped to handle. The real problem, though, is it's just not scary, Salles and scripter Rafael Yglesias aiming for spooky psychodrama over pants-wetting terror. "This is a Freudian horror movie," says the latter in the back-slapping Extraordinary Ensemble featurette, before foolishly likening his potboiler to Rosemary's Baby, Repulsion and Don't Look Now.

 

Still, there's no denying that this story of a single mom tormented by a dead girl who leaves the taps running upstairs has an eerie, elemental force that automatically puts it several notches ahead of yer average gorefest. In Connelly, also, it has an actress capable of rooting such soggy nonsense in authentic human emotion. Even when being knocked for six by a water cannon.

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