Dark Water Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2010
17/06/2010 (DVD)

This is a classy horror that has a decent drama-style structure. It is a bit draggy at first but the interest keeps you there till the impact..

Although it's very predictable (most films are these days), I really didn't mind it, it's just like having a different drink with the same vitamins if you know what I mean. It's a different movie with the same outline. But like drinks, there are ones I like better than others, and this is one of them.

A worthy play in my opinion, its suspenseful, dramatic, tragic and emotionally disturbing. A dreadful horror indeed!
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2009
Hideo Nakata is undoubtedly the best horror director working today. Dark Water (The Original) is creepier than the ring in my opinion. I just wish Hollywood would stop doing pointless remakes!
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2009
Ringu director, Hideo Nakata, steps back into the Japanese horror scene with Dark Water. There is nothing really wrong with this picture, but there is also nothing really special either.The story is slow going and is somewhat predictable. That shouldn't turn people away because horrors are all about the suspense and thrill ride. The run time is only 95 minutes and more than half of that is spent building up the story and the characters. This is fine and dandy, but there are times where this film spends too much time meandering on certain story elements, which makes for uneventful segments. Of course, people will say that all this just makes the ending that much more better.The scares are scarce, however the suspense is definitely there, especially at the end. There are small hints and glimpses for the bulk of the film, but the last 20 minutes do get freaky. The usual girl with long hair character is frightening and even though it is unoriginal, it is still an effective element to this horror movie.Hitomi Kuroki is an OK lead. There isn't enough screaming and kicking going on in here for her to show her stuff. Rio Kanno is quite entertaining as the young Ikuko. Male actors do exist in this picture and their acting is decent, but their characters are forgettable. Asami Mizukawa shows potential, however she is only there to add a little more story to the ending. "My mother was here all that time... protecting me."Dark Water will not blow anybody away or scare the living daylights out of a person, but this is still a watch that isn't regrettable for Japanese horror fans.
Super Reviewer
September 7, 2008
This is my idea of a horror movie. No junk, no noise, no random jolts, but plenty of fear, delivered quietly and compactly, without fuss. It's the most suspenseful movie I've seen since "Ring," and I think it's even better. Like that movie, it put my stomach in knots to prep them for the chills, which rose up like waves out of calm water. I thought "Ring" rather like a Robert Aickman story; this is as near as a movie can come. The director has uncanny skill in knowing where to place the camera and how long to hold a shot. And the leading actress gives a wonderful performance. Her face in the elevator...but that would be giving it away. The conclusion is foreseeable--maybe the ends of all ghost stories are foreseeable--but nonetheless satisfying. If you like tales of quietly disturbing dread, this is one for you.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2007
Hideo (Ringu) Nakata once again wheels out the old J horror staple of young woman stalked by mysterious child after moving into a new apartment with her young daughter. The fact is that there's nothing really WRONG with this film (aside from when the soundtrack skirted dangerously close to power ballad territory), it's just that we've seen it all before. To the point where I knew what the so-called "twist" would be virtually from the outset, and spent the first hour wishing he'd just cut to the chase. There are a couple of atmospheric scenes, but otherwise it's strictly by the numbers and a little sterile, with an occasional lapse in logic (has this woman never heard of a staircase...?!) Not bad, but nowhere near as good as the very similar Ju On.
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2007
A melancholy, waterlogged, immensely sad "horror" movie. A lot of the real horror, though much more covert than the supernatural elements, comes from the themes of abandonment and regret, which come across surprisingly effectively. Hitomi Kuroki gives a smash performance as a mentally worn mother embroiled in a bitter custody battle, adding a lot of poignancy to the role.

The ending is extremely mysterious and vaguely sad at the same time.

EDIT: Saw the remake, made me realize that this film wasn't THAT great, dropped the rating accordingly. It's still worth watching, though.
Super Reviewer
½ March 26, 2007
Great adaptation of the Koji Suzuki short story.
Super Reviewer
½ March 19, 2013
Its not a fully realized idea, but the notion of horror on a small, almost intimate, scale like this is intriguing. On top of that, the finale and the epilogue are surprisingly emotional.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2011
A sad horror movie, it will make sense when you see it.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2008
'Dark Water' Murky As Entertainment

That's it, I'm giving up on Japanese horror. My interest was first piqued with the suspenseful if flawed American version of The Ring, so I tried Ju-On (The Grudge) and The Eye with mixed but mostly piffling results. I thought Dark Water would beat them both after an intriguing 20 minutes, but then played out the same, only worse.

This new wave of Japanese ghost stories work on a level of logic that I simply cannot accept and are filled with inconsistencies that make me want to yell, not in a good way. Add to that the creakiness of 1930s movies like Dracula or Frankenstein where time after time the protagonist, filled with dread, takes no less than 45 seconds to turn their head, which in reality would've been lopped clean off by the kind of danger they feared lurking behind them. If you think 3 films is a rush to judgement, keep in mind these have been hailed near the top of their class and made by 3 different directors. If you were judging food, how many times do you want to throw squid and eel down your throat before you decide you don't like sushi after all?
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2008
i enjoyed it simply because its a bitdifferent from your standard asian ghost fare..and the ending is definitely touching...not as opaque as other ghost stories...so its nice at film's end to actually have a prety good grasp of what you just watched..good atmosphere and visuals
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2007
This is better even than the remake which is great. Superb even with subtitles.
November 23, 2009
one of the saddest (emotional) movies i've seen. way better than the remake (but big surprise right?)
August 14, 2009
I know this is a review of the Japanese original, but I will go out on a limb and say this, I actually think the US remake improved on this movie. Now that people will hate me, I watched this again on a whim. I watched it originally right after I saw the US version. This movie is still very good. I like it more than The Ring. There is so much emotion and definite atmosphere to this movie.

The performances are great and I believe this movie is more of a surprise in its overall than most other J-horror kind of movies. And in this movie, the blue filter and darkness seems more appropriate. To me, I know it was the same as the team for Ringu, but it had more of a Kyoshi Kurosawa feel ? and that always gets points from me. If anyone has seen the US version, no need to see this one. If you haven?t seen the US version, see that one first. You will be pleasantly surprised. But if you haven?t seen any J-horror, this is a great place to start.
½ June 3, 2007
These Japanese horror movies tend to impress me less than the American remakes I've already seen, even if they're a little different. It was a little creepier, but not as engaging.
January 4, 2009
This is a creepy movie, and the origin of the ghost girl spares no details- just what I like in my creepy horror movies. It is a sad and goose-bump giving tale. They do not cheap out on the effects or the scares- for those that like supernatural horror, with a corpse but no blood and guts, this is probably perfect for you.
½ October 3, 2008
Hideo Nakata is a Japanese horror master. Too bad that the American better known versions of most of his films are much much much much less great.
May 31, 2008
Spooky, wasn't too sure about this one but ended up liking it, this movie sets the whole mood for you, the set very dreary and colorless, the acting and overall story is worth watching...I didn't expect the ending
½ April 3, 2008
ah, the ending. very oh-my-god-ish. cute kid. i love the bag (i wanna have it!). iconic raincoatgirl. cool psychological situations. poor mommy, good acting mommy. i like it.
January 30, 2008
The original Dark Water is a little above average. It featured some really creepy scenes. But it got pretty boring in the middle when nothing happened. And plus, the ending didn't make much sense for me.
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