Dark Water

DVD Cover

I’m not yet sure how I really feel about this movie. I want to like it more than I do considering the cast and the cinematography. Certainly it has some very chilling moments and I understand that it is a “horror” film more in the vein of Polanski or Hitchcock, but there just seems something missing. Despite the intentions of the writer and director to create a character driven ghost story as a metaphor of the human psyche, we really don’t get to know the characters well enough. We don’t dive deep enough into the desires of Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly), Ceci (Ariel Glade), or Jeff Platzer (Tim Roth) for us to really make a connection.

Spoiler Alert

Really, don’t read the rest of this entry if you don’t want to know about the ending of this film

I have no problem with unhappy or complex endings in movies. Yet there was something about Dahlia’s death that rang false to me, as well as Ceci’s complete lack of traumatic breakdown after being nearly drowned by a ghost and watching her mother die from supernatural causes. (For those who might argue the possibility that there was no ghost and it was all in Dahlia’s mind, the film contradicts this several times, most specifically by showing us, from Ceci’s POV, Natasha in the bathtub.) Don’t get me wrong, I think Jennifer Connelly’s performance was subtle, layered and complex. Perhaps my issue is with the ambiguity of her decision to die as a way to keep Ceci alive. Or perhaps I just really wanted a happy ending for the film and Dahlia’s death disrupted my own desire for the film.

I’m curious about the original film (Honogurai mizu no soko kara) and the book by K√?ji Suzuki (who also wrote the novel that Ringu was based on), and would particularly love comments from those who have seen or read the source material.

I have to admit, despite my reservations, the film definitely stayed with me for a couple of days which is a good sign for the power of a movie. I would recommend the movie for the performances and the mis en scene–and for a good scare here and there!

On this day..