Perhaps horror movies should return to the gothic countryside fixer-upper. "The Ring" and "The Grudge" took place in a city setting, and managed to eek out a chill or two. However, this movie fails to break any new territory. Worse, the plodding pace just failed to keep me interested to the end.
Dahlia (Jennifer Connelly) is in the midst of a bitter divorce with husband Kyle (Dougray Scott). Caught in the middle is daughter Ceci (Ariel Gade). Dahlia insists on moving into a building where weird things are constantly happening. The excitement builds and builds (a little tongue-in-cheek here) as the movie moves between events caused by people and events caused by something that the movie only reveals at the end. Thrown into this plot goulash is Dahlia's childhood. Dahlia's mother abandoned her. We see periodic flashbacks to help us understand Dahlia's actions.
There are a bunch of problems with this movie. First, too much stuff is going on which means absolutely nothing. The guy in the elevator meant nothing and he failed to advance the plot. Yes, he did provide information about the elevator going up to the tenth floor and he did note that someone kept obliterating the writing on the elevator buttons. Big deal; we already knew that information when he showed up.
The teenage boys appeared menacing, but the movie wastes yet another opportunity. I could go on, but I would spoil the whole movie for you, in the event that you decide to watch this snoozer.
The movie did finally wake from its slumber and provide us with a few tense, generally predictable, moments. However, those few moments were insufficient compensation for the nearly hour and a half wait. Incidentally, my wife predicted the end of the movie about halfway through it, beating me completely. After she pointed out the probable ending, I suddenly realized that this movie was terribly obvious the whole time. Of course, my wife already realized that.
I watched the "unrated widescreen edition," which was supposed to be scarier than what was shown in the theaters. If this movie was scarier, I think many people must have felt that they wanted their money back when they saw this one in the theater.
"Dark Water" fails to slake my thirst for a good horror movie. I think I would rather watch "The Ring" or "The Grudge" again rather than this movie. If you want to see a real horror in your own home, go look at the dirty dishwater; yes, this movie was that dull.