Dark Water

Jennifer Connelly ("House of Sand and Fog" and received a Golden Globe®, BAFTA award, AFI award, Broadcast Critics award and Academy Award® for her role in Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind."). stars as newly single mother named Dahlia. Who is involved in a bitter custody hearing over her daughter Ceci played by six-year-old Ariel Gade (Ben Stillers "Envy").

        

Dahlia suddenly must question who she can trust and in what she can believe. But she will stop at nothing to figure out the riddle and protect her daughter' even as the dark water closes in around them. A world of familiar household objects, moods and emotions is transformed into a realm of relentless menace and dread in DARK WATER as the mystery unfolds.  DARK WATER is very much an exploration of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the other, fear that maybe man is indeed immortal and if so what else may wait for us beyond the grave?

Jennifer Connelly, Ariel Gade, Pete Postlethwaite, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott

Joing Connely and Gade  is an amazing cast of actors. John C. Reilly (Oscar® and Golden Globe® nominee for "Chicago", Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York", Stephen Daldry's "The Hours" ),  Pete Postlethwaite (Academy Award® nominee for "In the Name of the Father", Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet," ), Tim Roth (an Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee and BAFTA winner for "Rob Roy," Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes") Dougray Scott ("Ripley's Game", To Kill A King"). Camryn Manheim who as has received both an Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award the Emmy® Award-winning drama "The Practice." And Perla Haney-Jardine ( Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 2,").

Another important member of the cast according to director Walter Salles is Roosevelt Island, He reports "After visiting it for the first time, it was one of the factors that made me decide to do this film. This short stream of land is just a tram ride away from one of the richest places in the world-Manhattan. Yet, it's populated by immigrants of all kinds and also patients of the hospital that lies on the island, often solitary, elderly people-the disinherited of the city. In a strange manner, it reminded me of Akira Kurosawa's "High and Low." The haves and have-nots facing each other. Only the dark water of a river separated them."


DARK WATER approaches modern domestic anxiety from an original angle: that of a devoted mother who will go to unimaginable lengths to protect her daughter from an apartment that threatens to literally unleash a torrent of fury. Studying the mind-bending, heart-stopping territory where everyday reality encounters the darkest supernatural mysteries.

Acclaimed director Walter Salles ("Central Station," "The Motorcycle Diaries") makes his Hollywood debut bringing to life a tale of psychological terror that probes unsettling questions about where we live, who we can trust and the things that we fear the most, DARK WATER revisits anew an original Japanese short story by highly regarded horror writer Koji Suzuki, author of "The Ring". The screenplay was written by Rafael Yglesias. Who also wrote Roman Polanski's "Death and the Maiden," Peter Weir's "Fearless," an adaptation of his own novel.

Director Walter Salles praisesYglesias script saying. "The screenplay was beautifully written and had multiple layers: its center revolved around the relationship between a mother and child, a theme that has interested me since "Central Station." It was about the ghosts that we carry within, the ones that inhabit our past; it was also about abandonment and urban solitude; finally, there was something that you rarely have in a story like that-no blood and gore. What you didn't see was more important than what you saw. And there was no glorification of the central character-a rarity these days in cinema." 

It was the opportunity to explore the anatomy of fear in its deepest, darkest domestic crevices that drew Yglesias to the project. "I have always wanted to write a ghost story and this was a chance to create a very American ghost story," he says. "In the U.S., our ghosts are unique in that I believe they always have some kind of unfulfilled needs, something they hunger for without end. In our story, this all-consuming need is the desire for a loving mother. Ultimately, it's what unites Dahlia and the ghost who is haunting her, which makes for a very intriguing and frightening proposition."

He continues: "The fear in the film really is driven by this sense of claustrophobia and isolation inside Dahlia. It's the kind of terror that comes from inside your mind, the scariest of all."

At the heart of DARK WATER's spiraling suspense is something very primal: the human urge to explain the inexplicable. It was this underlying theme that most drew director Walter Salles to the story. "I'm attracted by the unknown, by the unexplainable," he says. "I think we're all in the same position of being in this world that we can't quite decode completely-and those things in life that we can't explain or resolve make for very interesting subjects for film. I think, more than anything else, DARK WATER is about those inner demons we carry with us but cannot quite see, and also the mystery of urban solitude-the way we often feel so remote and beyond communication even when we are surrounded by a big city full of people."

In exploring the nature of fear as a primal human emotion, Salles put his emphasis on the idea that the most unshakable chills and surprises are generated more from inside the mind-where our own personal demons and childhood terrors still lurk-rather than from more obvious external events. "I feel that many recent horror films are simply too direct in their approach," observes Salles. "I'm more interested in the kind of film where what you feel is more important than what you hear and what you see, where things aren't over-explained, and questions are left hanging."

 

DARK WATER is a bit of a dichotomy. It is highly emotional, and psychologically complex, stylish, beautifully directed, and superbly acted by everyone. The cast has richly created vivid lifelike characters, the design people have developed the look and style of the film into another lifelike character. The attention to detail from director Salles is intricate. Making the film beautiful to watch and study BUT the movie is tedious. The plot trods forward slowly and doesn't seem to go very far. So instead of the audience being driven on a journey fraught with terror and intrigue. We seem to have been just walked around the block of a beautiful Hollywood set filled with some of our most outstanding talent working hard at giving us their best. With all that effort I left the theatre in an altered state, yet somehow very unmoved. This story just doesn't deliver.

The creative team working with Walter Salles to craft the film's atmosphere of trepidation and suspense includes cinematographer Affonso Beato ("Dot The I," "All About My Mother"); production designer Therese DePrez ("American Splendor"); Academy Award®-nominated editor Daniel Rezende ("City of God," "The Motorcycle Diaries"); costume designer Michael Wilkinson ("American Splendor"); and Golden Globe®-nominated composer Angelo Badalamenti ("Mulholland Drive").

A Touchstone Picture DARK WATER is rated PG13 and opens nationwide today July 8th.  For more visit the films website at www.DARKWATERMOVIE.COM

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