Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara)

From The Creators of Japan's Acclaimed RINGU, Inspiration for the hit phenomenon THE RING

This film is actually called "Honogurai mizu no soko kara" but I will refer to it as Dark Water!

The plot is best some up by www.movie-gazette.com

"The partnership of director Hideo Nakati and writer Koji Suzuki first came to public attention with their groundbreaking horror film "Ring". "Ring" was, deservedly, a huge box-office success in Japan and acquired a loyal fan base abroad, spawning a franchise of sequels and many imitators, including the recent, somewhat inferior Hollywood remake, "The Ring". With "Dark Water", the pair has reunited to make another ghost story involving a single mother, a creepy girl and a watery grave - but there all resemblances end.

Recently divorced, and caught in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband, Yoshimi Matsubara (Hitomi Kuroki) moves into an apartment with her 5-year old daughter Ikuko (Asami Mizukawi), eager not to abandon Ikuko the way her own mother had abandoned her in her childhood. Yet as the ceiling of the apartment starts to leak uncontrollably, Yoshimi's life begins to unravel. With the building getting damper and damper, Yoshimi becomes obsessed with a missing girl who used to live upstairs. Ikuko gets a mystery illness, feet can be heard running about on the deserted floor above, there is something not right about the tap water, and soon the building seems to be bursting at the seams with the terrible secret it contains.

Nakati is a master of the uncanny, able to transform something as innocent as a little girl's shoulder bag into an object to inspire terror. "Dark Water" positively oozes atmosphere, building up the tension slowly before allowing it to overflow into irrational shocks and strange epiphanies. Yet just beneath its surface horror this film conceals a deep reservoir of tragedy, addressing themes like family breakdown, isolation, abandonment, and - something of a taboo in Japan - the terrible legacy of mental illness. In the end, the keynote of "Dark Water" is not so much horror as an overwhelming sadness, in this masterpiece of tormented souls.

A film which seeps into your consciousness like a slow-dripping tap.

It's Got: sombre chills, psychological depth

It Needs: wider distribution, and a good plumber"

Well by showing this film at UF we have hopefully given it more distribution, though most people know about this film. The Ring is a classic bit of cinema and one of my all time fav foreign language films (indeed on C4 tonight!) and such a weight makes me see this film. This is not as good as the Ring (little will be) but is one of the hidden great films of the season. Come and see it, be scared and a little uneasy. I don't know why the Japanese make such great horror films (Audtion and The Eye last season, the Ring(s)) but they do and long may it continue! Best foreign film of the season, probably best horror of the season (with all respect to the Wickerman!)

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller


Kôji Suzuki


Hideo Nakata


Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa


Kenji Kawai


101 minutes








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