Newest Reviews
Mia Madre
Libeled Lady
Wolfpack, The
Light Sleeper
Saturday Island
It Happened Tomorrow
Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir
Comancheros, The
Marseille Contract, The
Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD
Newest Articles
So Long, Soledad: Vampyros Lesbos and She Killed in Ecstasy
Shakin' with Laughter or Stirred into Action: Silly Bond vs Serious Bond
Green Screen: Ecological Horror of the 1970s
What in the Weird? Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers
Public Info Ltd: The Essential Richard Massingham
  Dark Water Buy this film here.
Year: 2002
Director: Hideo Nakata
Stars: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata, Yu Tokui, Isao Yatsu
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: While a mother (Yoshimi, played by Hitomi Kuroki) fights for custody of her six year old daughter Ikuku (Rio Kanno) after a recent divorce, a damp patch appears on the ceiling of their apartment, triggering eerie visions of a girl in a yellow raincoat. Kramer vs Kramer meets Don't Look Now? No, this is another spine chilling adaptation of a novel by Koji Suzuki, Japan's prime horror scribe.

If RingHideo Nakata's first take on a Suzuki story – earns the crowd-pleasing honours with it's thrilling race against time narrative, Dark Water comes over as a more mature sleeper: perhaps Ring contains a higher percentage of shock moments, but Nakata's latest delivers longer, more concentrated bursts of terror, driven by one of the most effective horror soundtracks this side of Suspiria.

Once again, Nakata takes a parent/child relationship set against a modern day background of dark supernatural menace, and comes up with a stately meditation on every parent's most profound fear, culminating in a final 15 minutes that are, by turn, nerve-shredding, cruel, heartbreaking and haunting in the extreme. It works beautifully, as does the ever present water motif: whether it's the constant driving rain; sudden explosions of water; a tuft of black hair flushed out of a tap, or the ghost of a missing child, wet hair obscuring her face.

I suppose it's a fairly safe bet that Dark Water is already lined up for an American remake, though it's hard to believe any short-listed actress will match the performance of Kuroki, who excels as the lone parent battling to hold onto her child in the face of both earthly and supernatural intervention. One major point of interest concerns Yoshimi's precarious state of mind; possibly brought on by her job as proofreader of sadistic horror novels. It's an accepted fact that the written word can often be just as chilling as the moving image, and therefore refreshing to witness a director ready, willing and able to challenge this viewpoint. Scariest thing about this film? You'll see just how far a mother will go in order to maintain her status.
Reviewer: Steve Langton


This review has been viewed 7383 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Dan Schneider
Aaron Shaw
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Ahmed Hasanen
Keith Rockmael


Last Updated: