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DVD Review: DARK WATER

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PHOTOGRAPHY

(Unrated Widescreen Version)
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 103 minutes, deleted scenes, featurettes
STUDIO: Touchstone/ Pandemonium/ Vertigo Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 12-26-2005

DARK WATER is the latest Japanese Horror film to be remade for the USA. It is a ghost story, but it is done in such a way that you wonder if Dahlia (Jennifer Connolly) is seeing it in her head. She moves to an apartment building on Roosevelt Island with her young daughter (despite a custody battle with her ex-husband). The building is owner by a slum lord and run by a creepy looking Building Super. The new apartment is on the ninth floor and the empty apartment above is leaking water. Dahlia begins to have nightmares about teh empty apartment and starnge things start happening. Her daughter gets a new friend no one else sees. And you also have the story of the little girl who lived with her mother in the empty apartment, but the little girl is missing.

DARK WATER is a strange ghost story/ psychological thriller. It has an opresssive enviroment and all the men seem to be creeps to one degree or another (including Dahlia's lawyer). Now I will have to check out the original Japanese version and see how the two compare. DARK WATER is at least good nought to rent and sets itself apart from the gory horror films that crowd the genre at the moment. Director Walter Salles deserves some credit for crafting this creepy film.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Image detail is great, but some DVD players may experience aliasing. Dialogue is easy to hear and the sound mix captures the creepy atmosphere.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Two delted scenes don't add much to the movie, but they are interesting anyway. BEANEATH THE SURFACE: THE MAKING OF DARK WATER is a multi-part featurette that shows what attracted the cast and crew to DARK WATER, the setting for the film, how the director hates using sets, and the amount of sets and green screen they used in DARK WATER. THE SOUND OF TERROR is a featurette that look at the sound design of the film while AN EXTRAORDINARY ENSEMBLE is a featurette on the cast and crew of DARK WATER. ANALYZING DARK WATRER SEQUENCES is a look at three sequences in the film with interviews with the crew and one sequence is an interactive one where you can hear the invididual auio tracks (or the final mix). They even reshot a scene to beef up the climax.

FIANL ANALYSIS: DARK WATER is an unsettling ghost story and you might want to check out the original if you like this version.

this DVD Review is (c)12-19-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com