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"DARK WATER"
(2005) (Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate *None Heavy *Heavy None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Moderate Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Extreme Heavy Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Horror/Suspense: A divorced mother moves into a rundown apartment with her young daughter, only to encounter strange, spooky and supernatural incidents and figures.
PLOT:
Having suffered at the hands of an abusive and uncaring mother, Dahlia Williams (JENNIFER CONNELLY) is determined not to let that happen to her young daughter Cecilia (ARIEL GADE) despite going through divorce proceedings with her husband Kyle (DOUGRAY SCOTT). He's moved to Jersey City and is upset that Dahlia is taking Ceci to Roosevelt Island. Without a job, but wanting her daughter to go to a good school, Dahlia has rented a small, old and dirty apartment from the building's manager Mr. Murray (JOHN C. REILLY).

With no decent amenities, a view of another building and no kids of Ceci's age, the place isn't much, but Dahlia tries to make it a home. And that's despite a large water stain and then leak in the ceiling that building superintendent Veeck (PETE POSTLETHWAITE) says he can patch but can't fix. To make matters worse, it seems that a bunch of teens keep breaking into the abandoned upstairs apartment, making all sorts of noise and leaving the water running, thus only exacerbating the flooding problem below.

As she tries to deal with that and hires lawyer Jeff Platzer (TIM ROTH) -- who works out of his car -- to help her with her divorce proceedings, Dahlia begins self-medicating herself to handle that stress and her growing headaches. Yet, as the noises and flooding from above continue, and other seemingly spooky events start occurring, she begins to wonder whether she's loosing her mind or if perhaps the ghost of the girl from upstairs, Natasha (PERLA HANEY-JARDINE), is invading their lives and home.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast or are into horror/suspense films, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For mature thematic material, frightening sequences, disturbing images and brief language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JENNIFER CONNELLY plays a recently divorced mother who's still reeling from her marriage's demise and is trying to put her life back together with her 6-year-old daughter in tow. Troubled by all of that and her unhappy childhood past, she self-medicates with some sort of prescription medication and uses some profanity while dealing with that, her squalid apartment and the odd and supernatural occurrences that move from the apartment above down to her.
  • ARIEL GADE plays Dahlia's 6-year-old daughter who initially doesn't like the apartment, but then comes to do so after she meets her "imaginary friend" (a girl's ghost).
  • JOHN C. REILLY plays the building manager who sells Dahlia on the positive points of the apartment that he offers her, but then reneges on his promises to resolve her various housing issues.
  • TIM ROTH plays her divorce lawyer who works out of his car and sets out to assist her in her divorce as well as with her housing problems.
  • DOUGRAY SCOTT plays her ex-husband who isn't happy with her or the fact that she's moved their daughter away from him. He smokes a few times and questions Dahlia's state of mind as thing progress.
  • PETE POSTLETHWAITE plays the curmudgeonly building superintendent who doesn't always follow Murray's orders and somewhat seems suspicious due to his odd behavior. He briefly uses strong profanity and becomes irritated by the problems in Dahlia's apartment.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this horror flick that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present, while the mostly muted sounds of a porn video may be briefly heard (although that's not certain).

    All sorts of creepy, spooky and potentially scary material occurs throughout the film, including that of a ghost haunting an apartment, and other supernatural and/or odd occurrences (including many scenes featuring supernaturally related black water that flows from spigots and covers entire floors). Other moments of potential peril are present, while a ghost tries to drown a girl in a bathtub, a dead girl is seen floating in other water and an adult death is implied.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes while some brief smoking occurs, a brief drug related comment is made and a woman self-medicates herself with unidentified prescription medication. Thematic elements include parental abandonment, divorce and child custody issues, supernatural elements and people questioning one character's sanity, while it's implied that a parent is dead, leaving a young girl motherless at the end.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a brief spin around camera shot.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Veeck mentions teenagers breaking into an apartment and using drugs (what he calls "whacky backy" or something along those lines for pot).
  • Dahlia offers a beer to Veeck, but he says he doesn't drink.
  • Dahlia takes prescription pills of unknown content several times in the movie, with them knocking her out for an entire day after one such consumption.
  • Platzer mentions that Kyle said that Dahlia's mother was an alcoholic who abandoned her.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a woman with her head at a toilet, but we don't see any signs of vomiting.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • We see that Dahlia and Kyle are going through divorce proceedings, and the two have bad attitudes toward each other.
  • There's talk that the parents in the apartment above Dahlia forgot and thus abandoned their daughter in the past.
  • Kyle tells Dahlia, "I don't know who or what pressed your whacko button" when he thinks she's doing some crazy talk.
  • A male teenager twice makes sexual comments toward Dahlia in her presence.
  • It appears that Veeck may have lied to Dahlia and Ceci about a girl's backpack that he said was picked up by the owner, but that Dahlia then finds in the trash.
  • Dahlia sees (or thinks she sees) Kyle being in cahoots with some teenagers about harassing and/or scaring her.
  • Ceci sticks her tongue out at Veeck and calls him a liar (about a backpack he says was picked up by the owner).
  • Platzer tells a white lie to Dahlia on the phone about being at the movies with his family (when he's there by himself).
  • It's implied that Veeck knew of the missing girl and possibly even her death but kept it to himself.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Ceci suddenly rushes out of the elevator, followed by Murray, leaving Dahlia alone in the elevator. Veeck spots her on the surveillance camera and she seems to be holding an invisible child's hand.
  • Ceci stares at the large and ugly water stain on the ceiling (that looks ominous).
  • Ceci goes up the stairwell alone and heads for the roof where she spots a water tower up there with a ladder leading to its top. When Dahlia realizes she's gone, she races up the stairs and to the roof where she finds Ceci standing near the edge (but is holding a doll backpack she's just found and isn't in any apparent danger).
  • We hear odd sounds from the apartment above Dahlia's.
  • With Dahlia inside it, the building's elevator suddenly goes up to the top floor by itself, with Dahlia spotting a man's face through the small window as she passes by him on one floor.
  • We see that the ceiling leak has gotten bigger and uglier, with black water coming down from it.
  • A long human hair comes out of a faucet and into the glass Dahlia is holding.
  • We hear a child's voice and footsteps from the apartment above Dahlia's. Dahlia then goes up there and when she knocks on the door, it slowly and partially opens on its own. She then enters the flooded apartment, stepping through the water as she proceeds (all as suspenseful music plays). We then see a figure coming up behind her, but it turns out to be Veeck.
  • We hear a ghostly girl singing along with Ceci.
  • Dahlia returns to the apartment above her where she hears a woman crying and then finds her with her head to the toilet. But it turns out to be Dahlia's mother who calls her a "bitch" and says that she hates her (but this turns out to be a nightmare).
  • Dahlia enters the dark and foreboding basement to do laundry when she suddenly runs into two male teenagers.
  • Dahlia suddenly sees a male teenager's reflection in the glass on a washing machine. Moments later, the washing machine starts acting up, with black water and goo spilling from it (it's a front-loader) and a girl's face suddenly appearing inside it up against the glass.
  • Dahlia finds the ghost girl's backpack in the trash and sees the girl's name inside it, unnerving Dahlia.
  • We see the ghost girl (looking normal) sleeping in bed with Dahlia, but a drop of water from above wakes up Dahlia and the girl is then gone.
  • Ceci ends up in the elevator by herself that then panics Dahlia when she realizes this.
  • Ceci's hand suddenly goes wild while drawing/painting, as if controlled by an unseen ghost, with Ceci yelling "Stop it!"
  • As Ceci is in her school's bathroom, we see black water pouring from the sinks and toilets, while we also see a ghostly girl's silhouette behind the smoked glass in the main door. Ceci then hides in one of the stalls as we hear the sounds of steps coming toward her in the water (and Ceci is very scared).
  • We hear sounds from the apartment above Dahlia and she then spots wet footprints in the hallway and then up the stairwell.
  • We see a flashback to a girl climbing up a water tower's ladder (and we think something bad is likely going to happen).
  • Dahlia ascends a water tower's ladder, opens the lid and peers inside (with us thinking something bad or scary is going to happen). She then suddenly spots a girl's body (looking recently drowned) in the water. That girl's eyes then suddenly open and we hear a scream.
  • As Ceci is in the bathtub, the glass door on it slowly closes by itself and Ceci then spots the ghost girl in the water with her.
  • Dahlia is unaware that the little girl coming out in a hooded robe is not Ceci, but rather the ghost girl (and Dahlia starts to read her a story until she realizes the truth and the ghost girl tells Dahlia that she can't leave her).
  • We see the ghost girl trying to drown Ceci in the bathtub, with Dahlia then rushing in, but she's unable to open or break the glass shower doors separating them. During this, there's black water everywhere, filling the room and spraying all about.
  • We see a close-up of a woman's face lying on the floor with an eye open, suggesting that she's dead from a ghostly encounter.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*cking brats," "What the..?" "Sure as hell," "Whacky backy" (or something like that for marijuana), "You little bitch," "G*ddamn brat," "I don't know who or what pressed your whacko button," "Punks," "Smart ass" and "Piss you off."
  • Ceci sticks her tongue out at Veeck.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Veeck suddenly stands up in an elevator, surprising Dahlia.
  • With Dahlia inside it, the building's elevator suddenly goes up to the top floor by itself, with Dahlia spotting a man's face through the small window as she passes by him on one floor.
  • Dahlia enters the dark and foreboding basement to do laundry when she suddenly runs into two male teenagers.
  • Dahlia suddenly sees a male teenager's reflection in the glass on a washing machine. Moments later, the washing machine starts acting up, with black water and goo spilling from it (it's a front-loader) and a girl's face suddenly appearing inside it up against the glass.
  • Dahlia ascends a water tower's ladder, opens the lid and peers inside, spotting a girl's body (looking recently drowned) in the water. That girl's eyes then suddenly open and we hear a scream.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film, occasionally including a sort of heartbeat sound on the soundtrack.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), 1 damn, 1 hell, 5 uses of "Oh God," 3 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Dahlia and Ceci take a bubble bath together, but we only see their heads.
  • We hear what may be sounds of a porno video playing in Veeck's apartment when Dahlia goes there to complain, but we never learn enough or hear it well enough to be sure.
  • Dahlia shows a little cleavage.
  • Dahlia enters the dark and foreboding basement to do laundry when she suddenly runs into two male teenagers. One then suggestively says that he has some dirty things he'd like her to clean.
  • In passing, a teenage boy makes some sort of forward sexual remark about Dahlia.
  • SMOKING
  • Kyle smokes twice, while a male teenager smokes once.
  • Dahlia finds a cigarette butt outside her door.
  • Ceci tells her father that he shouldn't smoke, with Dahlia bitterly saying he can smoke all he wants (as if she wants him to die from that).
  • A male teenager says he forgot his "smokes" in the laundry room.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see a flashback to where Dahlia's mother is late to pick her up and is noted as always being late for her young daughter.
  • We see that Dahlia and Kyle are going through divorce proceedings, where he's upset with where she's moving with their daughter and she wonders why he's now suddenly interested in Ceci when he wasn't before. The two argue here and in other scenes, and Dahlia directly implies that there's another woman in Kyle's life. Kyle later threatens to sue Dahlia over moving Ceci away from him, and he later questions her sanity.
  • Dahlia returns to the apartment above her where she hears a woman crying and then finds her with her head to the toilet. But it turns out to be Dahlia's mother who calls her a "bitch" and says that she hates her (but this turns out to be a nightmare).
  • There's talk that the parents in the apartment above Dahlia forgot and thus abandoned their daughter in the past.
  • Platzer mentions that Kyle said that Dahlia's father was abusive and that her mother was an alcoholic who abandoned her.
  • Dahlia worries and is near a breakdown about Ceci who's not home, and then learns that she's been taken to the hospital after an incident at school.
  • Spoiler Alert: It's suggested that a girl's mom is dead (we see her walk off with the ghost girl) and several weeks later, the girl is crying over her dead mom. However, she encounters her ghost in the elevator and hears that she'll be there whenever the girl needs her.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Divorce and having to live with one parent.
  • Childhood abandonment.
  • Ghosts.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see the ghost girl trying to drown Ceci in the bathtub, with Dahlia then rushing in, but she's unable to open or break the glass shower doors separating them.
  • We see a close-up of a woman's face lying on the floor with an eye open, suggesting that she's dead from a ghostly encounter.



  • Reviewed June 27, 2005 / Posted July 8, 2005

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