Writer: Takashige Ichise, Hideo Nakata, Ken’ichi Suzuki, Yoshihiro Nakamura (Screenplay) Koji Suzuki (Novel)
Starring: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata
Plot: A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow Building, Strong Finish
Story: Dark Water starts by showing us how Yoshimi Matsubara (Kuroki) going through a divorce and trying to keep full custody of her child Ikuko (Kanno). We learn that Yoshimi has had psychiatric treatment in that past and her husband wants to use it against her. Yoshimi has to find a new place to live with her little girl and they find a lovely apartment that has something about it. Ikuko goes off wondering around alone discovering a bag on the roof.
In the new apartment there seems to be a water stain on the roof that just keeps returning and growing. The water continues to come in from the room above so Yoshimi starts to investigate the apartment above. We continue to see how the twos lives are moving on with Yoshimi getting a new job and Ikuko starting school. Yoshimi learns about a young girl that went missing in the same area that starts turning up in their lives. Everything escalates when Ikuko goes missing leading to Yoshimi searching desperately for her daughter and trying to solve the case of the missing girl.
Dark Water is one of the original horror films I actually saw the remake first which could be why I didn’t find this as effect as it had been made out to be. Even though it is a good ghost investigation film which is my favourite type of horror, I would say a strong point of the film is not force the ghost to jump out over and over again instead will get the ideas of a ghost turning up nearer the end of the film. This all works out to be a good story but the scares don’t come off to the level you would expect from this style of film. (6/10)
Hitomi Kuroki: Yoshimi Matsubara is the mother who is trying just to keep everything together while going through a messy divorce, she moves into a new apartment with her daughter only to find it haunted by the ghost of a dead little girl. Yoshimi must work out how to save her daughter and not look crazy along the way. Hitomi does a good job in the leading lady role making every scene between her losing her mind and protecting her child seem important. (7/10)
Rio Kanno: Ikuko Matsubara (6) is the little girl getting haunted and potential mistreated by her mother, she has to listen to instruction even though the ghost comes off as a play mate who wants her soul. Rio does a solid job in the role but doesn’t act as scared as she should be. (5/10)
Support Cast: Dark Water has a small supporting cast which includes the general building staff, the ghost girl and the people who turn up in everyday life, they all help the story get to its conclusion.
Director Review: Hideo Nakata – Hideo gives us a solid horror film that gives us plenty to think about because it tests us on what could be real or in the head before we get the real answers. (7/10)
Horror: Dark Water holds back most of the scares until the final third of the film which works because when they do happen we get a more genuine fear about what is happening. (7/10)
Mystery: Dark Water gives us a good mystery to try and solve but only goes one direction about finding it. (6/10)
Thriller: Dark Water doesn’t manage to pull you in as much as it could. (5/10)
Settings: Dark Water creates a natural setting bring the horror right to your door. (8/10)
Suggestion: Dark Water is one for the horror fans to try and enjoy but they may get let down by the number of scares. (Horror Fans Try)
Best Part: When we finally see the ghost girl.
Worst Part: Slow scares.
Believability: No (0/10)
Chances of Tears: No (0/10)
Chances of Sequel: Has an America Remake.
Post Credits Scene: No
Similar Too: Ringu
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes
Tagline: From The Creators of Japan’s Acclaimed RINGU, Inspiration for the hit phenomenon THE RING
Overall: Dark Water is a good investigation film but falls short with true scares.