Dark Water (2005)
Directed by Walter Salles
Starring Jennifer Connelly, Pete Postlethwaite
I am working on a comparative review of both versions but these were my feelings after seeing the remake.
Having seen the original I was a little apprehensive to see this, I avoided seeing the Ring remakes and The Grudge but after noting the director and stars I thought well why the heck not?
Jennifer Connelly plays the mother of a young girl and has just been divorced, the first scene sets the course for the rest of the film as she and her ex meet to try and clear any problems as far as custody is concerned, how do we know they're freshly divorced? Simple they don't talk, they shout and scream at each other, subtle is one thing this film ain't.
Because of economic constraints she has had to move into a cheap apartment on Roosevelt Island, an ugly decaying apartment with some serious leaks, you know the area is cheap and rundown not just because of the ugliness of the buildings but because the camera pointedly directs you to a fat woman staring blankly out of her window (obviously nothing better to do) and a disabled person staring back from their wheelchair (everyone knows disabled people live in poverty or at least that appears to be the implied message). I must mention that the mother also has deep psychological scars dating way back from her childhood, this is important as a lot of the plot revolves around this.
How much do you like your films sign posted? Personally I hate it because I feel like I'm being treated as an idiot, this film does it over and over again, none of the subtlety of the original, in fact no subtlety at all, as they reach the apartment block for the first time, you are drawn, NO! your attention is dragged to the big water tower at the top, how strange I wonder could that have anything to do with the story?
There are strange whispers and noises from the flat above and after a little while water starts seeping into the bedroom, from then on things get stranger. The daughter, Cecilia starts talking to an imaginary friend and the ex husband who is constantly looking for excuses to get custody of the girl seems to be involved in a plot with some of the local kids to undermine what's left of his ex wifes sanity.
I wont go further into the plot because that would amount to adding spoilers except to say that despite the fine cast and good director, this is a very pale watered down (sic) version of the original, none of the tension or intrigue, no mystery in fact youre spoon-fed the story, yep its gift wrapped and bow tied Hollywood style and that ruins the whole film.
Dont waste your time on this one rent the original instead, youll get a lot more satisfaction from it.
BBFC rated 15 though I couldn't fathom out why it wasnt a 12.
PS Sorry if these comments are a bit muddled but the more I thought about the film the more annoyed I became at the total waste of cast and crew.