Dark Water (2002) – Review, Rating and Synopsis

Dark Water (2002) - Review, Rating and Synopsis

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  • Release Date:  2002
  • Genre:  Ghost & Spirit
  • Cast and crew: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata, Yu Tokui, Isao Yatsu, Shigemitsu Ogi, Maiko Asano, Yukiko Ikari, Shinji Nomura, Kiriko Shimizu, Teruko Hanahara, Youko Yasuda, Shichirou Gou
  • Director:  Hideo Nakata
  • Screenwriter:  Hideo Nakata, Ken’ichi Suzuki, Kôji Suzuki, Takashige Ichise, Yoshihiro Nakamura

Dark Water (2002) Rating:

  • Eloise = 7 / 10;
  • Raoul = 6 / 10;
  • IMDb = 6.7 / 10;
  • Rotten Tomatoes = 8.0 / 10;

Dark Water (2002) Synopsis:

A recently divorced mother, who decided to keep the custody of her daughter, moves to a new apartment with a deadly humidity problem.

Dark Water (2002) Review:

Hideo Nakata, one of the greatest Japanese horror director, directed Dark Water a few years after the success of his masterpiece Ring and Ring 2. In my opinion, he only partially succeeded at replicating the goodness from his two classics.

The movie is centered on the use of water and humidity. Having liquid water as the villain in horror movies is really unusual and the concept is brilliantly exploited here. Thereee is a real work done on having water, humidity or mold present in every single scene. The constant feeling of humidity creates a creepy and oppressive atmosphere. Good work was also done on the lighting and textures to gives further strength to that nasty feeling of being constantly wet while watching.

The story itself is the basic ghost story one, featuring a  vengeful spirit which, after having been killed, comes back to haunt the apartment. Its simplicity it one of the things that turned me off. Another is the lack of action and creepy scenes. Like in many Japanese horrors, Dark Water focuses heavily on the atmosphere, often at the expense of the action. The lack of scary scenes in the first 1 hour and so is a little disappointing. In gets much better towards the end and the final climax is rich in creepy scenes… and also sad moments.

Yet, overall I felt a bit disappointed by the experience, which felt more like a drama rather than proper horror.

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