A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Art Buchwald said the plot of "Last Tango in Paris" could be understood as the story of what people were willing to do to get an apartment in Paris. "Dark Water," a new horror film starring Jennifer Connelly, suggests that in New York, people are not only willing to kill for an affordable apartment, but may have to die, too. The movie is a remake of a 2002 thriller by the Japanese horror specialist Hideo Nakata, whose work also inspired the "Ring" pictures.
As "Dark Water" opens, Dahlia Williams (Connelly) is splitting up with her husband Kyle (Dougray Scott), and needs to find a new home for herself and her daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade). Her search takes her to Roosevelt Island, where a real estate agent named Murray (John C. Reilly) cheerfully shows them a flat that could be the New York pied-a-terre of the Amityville Horror.
The entrance hall is dark and dank. The superintendent (Pete Postlethwaite) lurks in his cubicle like a poisonous toad. The elevator seems programmed to devour little girls or their mothers. The rooms are dark and dank. Murray talks optimistically about a new coat of paint, and when he fails to find the second bedroom he instantly redefines the living room as "dual-use." Little Cici, who thinks the building is “yucky,” is right on the money. Still, the rent is right, and Dahlia is desperate. She takes the apartment, violating the ancient tradition that movie characters always live in apartments they could never afford in real life. She can afford this one. It's just that, well, that stain in the ceiling seems sort of malevolent and alive, as if it were eating up the apartment and will eat them, too. And a trip upstairs reveals unspeakable horrors.
What went on in this building? Who is the imaginary friend Ceci seems to have made? Her mother has fears of abandonment from her own childhood, and we wonder if she will allow her own child to be endangered. Here is a world with few friendly faces: Reilly as the real estate agent would praise a death chamber for its square footage, Postlethwaite as the super seems to be harboring alien parasites in his eyebrows, and Dahlia's lawyer is played by Tim Roth, which is all you need to know.