Release Date: July 08, 2005
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade,
John C. Reilly, Pete
Postlethwaite, Dougray Scott,
Tim Roth, and Camryn Manheim
Genre: Horror Thriller/Ghost Story
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures/Buena
Director: Walter Salles
Executive Producer: Ashley Kramer
Producer: Bill Mechanic, Roy Lee and
Writer: Rafael Yglesias
Address Comments To:Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
The movie opens with Dahlia Williams and her husband, Kyle, fighting over the custody of their young daughter, Ceci (short for Cecilia). In the midst of their divorce, Kyle wants Dahlia and Ceci to live near him in Jersey City, where he has found a cheap apartment outside of Manhattan. Dahlia doesn't want to move that far away from Manhattan, however. She accuses Kyle of wanting to be near his girlfriend who, apparently, broke up their marriage. So, Dahlia settles for a cheap, but small apartment on Roosevelt Island, just five or ten minutes from Manhattan.
In their spooky, rain-drenched new apartment, Dahlia and her daughter are soon haunted by the ghost of a missing little girl. A couple of teenage boys also harass Dahlia. The building's manager and the landlord are no help, of course. Dahlia must solve the mystery of the girl's disappearance, and the deadly desires of the girl's ghost, on her own, in order to protect her daughter's own life.
DARK WATER is not a great movie, but, unlike many other horror movies lately, its excellent acting, atmosphere and craftsmanship are compelling. Jennifer Connelly and Ariel Gade as Dahlia and Ceci are especially good.
The movie's occult worldview is abhorrent, however. It assumes the existence of ghosts who can come back and haunt other people, including lure people to their death, or even help and comfort them.
Despite his humanist worldview, psychologist Sigmund Freud addresses the pagan/occult mind in his book TOTEM AND TABOO. There, Freud proposes that pagan/occult superstitions about fearing and appeasing dead people and their ghosts stem from the natural (and, as the Bible teaches, sinful) emotional ambivalence we feel for people when they were alive. Even if the person dies a natural death, the pagan believes that he or she may have, at some point, wished the person to die. This voluntary or involuntary desire results in guilt and fear that the dead person's ghost may return to avenge its death.
Thus, in many ghost stories from many different cultures and ages, the ghost haunting the protagonists is haunting them because of some wrong done to the dead person when they were alive. Such is the case with DARK WATER and many other modern ghost movies. DARK WATER also posits, however, that some ghosts are benevolent. All of these pagan, occult beliefs about ghosts contradict God's commandments, which adamantly forbid us in Deut. 18:9-14 and other passages to consult spirits or dead people. Regrettably, beliefs about ghosts are rampant in both the United States and Japan, the origin of this particular ghost story.
DARK WATER is not a great movie, but, unlike many other horror movies lately, its excellent acting, atmosphere and craftsmanship are compelling. Jennifer Connelly and Ariel Gade as Dahlia and Ceci are especially good. The movie's occult worldview is abhorrent, however. It assumes the existence of ghosts who can come back and haunt people, including lure people to their death, or even help and comfort them. The movie's occult story contradicts God's commandments, which adamantly forbid us in Deut. 18:9-14 top consult spirits or dead people.