Thursday Night Movie Club
Dark Water
star rating graphic½
Release Date: July 8, 2005

Director: Walter Salles
Jennifer Connelly
John C. Reilly
Tim Roth
Dougray Scott
Pete Postlethwaite
Camryn Manheim
Ariel Gade
Perla Haney-Jardine
Debra Monk
Linda Emond
Bill Buell
J.R. Horne
Elina L÷wensohn
Warren Belle
Alison Sealy-Smith
Mr. Murray
Jeff Platzer
Natasha/Young Dahlia
Young Dahlia's Teacher
Man in Train
Dahlia's Mother
Click on the Dark Water poster to link to the official movie website.
Click on the photo of Jennifer Connelly to link to the official movie website.Well, Jake said it right. "Why did we want to see this movie?" Good question. My only answer was that the previews looked interesting. Dark Water is a suspense movie with no suspense. It is a horror movie without horror. When the movie ends, it makes no sense. The puzzle pieces make up the wrong picture.

Dark Water has a great premise for a story. The execution is clueless. Dahlia Williams is a young mother with many problems. She is going through a sour divorce. They are in a custody battle for their young daughter. She also has issues with being abandoned by her mother at a very early age.

Dahlia is looking for a new place to live. Apartment hunting, mother and daughter, Ceci, meet the conniving Mr. Murray, one of the two only bright spots as played by John C. Reilly. Mr. Murray has the talent misrepresenting the most disgusting apartment to look like a high-rise on Miami Beach.

Ceci is perceptive enough to know that there is something very wrong with this apartment. Not the building, just this particular flat. While wandering the building and finding herself on the roof, Ceci finds a child's backpack. She immediately changes her mind and convinces Dahlia to rent the flat. Ok, the suspense is set in motion. I'll bite!

Click on the photo of Tim Roth, Pete Postlethwaite and John C. Reilly to link to the official movie website.Dahlia is about to learn just how bad this particular flat and the people that run it are. Water, Dark Water, begins forming on the ceiling of Ceci's bedroom ceiling. Dahlia complains and gets the usual management run-around. I can't fix it. Call Mr. Murray. Mr. Murray tells Dahlia to tell Veeck that he must fix the leak. Etc.

Can't you just feel the suspense thickening? What is causing this "mysterious" leak? Why has Ceci suddenly developed an "invisible" friend? Questions. Questions! More mysterious elements arise. The washing machines suddenly go bonkers spilling out dark water. Every where Dahlia goes, she comes upon dark water. Dahlia begins to have flash backs of the time she was abandoned as a child and resolves that she will not abandon her child.

Is there some devilry at work here? No, actually, there is none! The leaking dark water is caused by some teenagers who like to visit an empty flat above Dahlia's, plug up the drains and flood the flat. Ah, the good old days of teenage pranks! Even the dark water in the laundry room is traced back to the teenagers. Are you losing your suspense yet?

Just when you begin to lose suspense, the movie takes a new turn as Ceci is taken over by an unknown force at school. Oh boy, a new question! Too bad this little episode is never resolved. It just happens.

Click on the photo of Jennifer Connelly to link to the official movie website.That is the problem with Dark Water, things happen. That is all. Things happen. End of story. Director Walter Salles presents us with several questions. The title must mean something so we watch the movie waiting for this answer. After fixing the leak twice, the water still leaks into Dahlia's flat. Is this some higher force at work here? Dahlia takes a pill and loses a day. She has fretful dreams of events. Are these events real? Are they imagined? Are they foreshadowing of things to come? The answers are: maybe, no, no, no, no, no, no and several more no's.

As it turns out, Ceci's mysterious friend Natasha has died by accident. Her parents separated on bad terms, each one assuming Natasha was living with the other person. Is Natasha causing the dark water to flood the flat? No, those are caused by the teenagers's pranks. How is the title tied in with Natasha's story? Superficially at best! Natasha died by accident while exploring the water tower on the roof. Why is her spirit inhabiting the building? Answer: No particularly good reason other than as a plot device.

Jennifer Connelly is hysterically good sometimes. This moves the story along somewhat. Tim Roth phones in his performance as a lawyer so low on the scale that his office is his car and cell phone. Why is this? No reason! Pete Postlethwaite puts in the only other interesting performance as the creepy yet kind building supervisor. Why is he both creepy and kind? No particular reason! Dahlia sacrifices her life to protect Ceci from Natasha's attempts to drown Ceci. Why? No particular reason! (Dahlia decides to die to become the Natasha's mother, leaving Ceci behind. Why? Who knows!) Why does Natasha look exactly like the young Dahlia? No particular reason! How exactly does Dahlia die? Was it a supernatural influence? Did she go completely crazy from the strains of raising Ceci alone? Was Ceci even nothing more than a figment of her overactive psyche? Answers: no, no, no, no and several more no's.

As you've no doubt surmised, the answers to every question in this movie is "no". If you are asked to go see this movie, your answer is "NO"!