Arrow Video have released the 2002 Japanese horror flick Dark Water on Blu-ray recently, get your scares on with our review.
Japan knows how to do horror. After the success of, the now legendary horror film, Ringu (Ring) in 1998, director Hideo Nakata continued his tradition of scaring audiences silly with the 2002 horror drama Dark Water (or Honogurai Mizu No Soko Kara Lit in Japan). Of course, Dark Water was remade for American audiences in 2004 starring Jennifer Connolly (of Labyrinth fame), but this the original J-horror.
Whilst going through a tough break-up and hard custody battle over six-year old daughter Ikuko (Rio Kanno), former novel proof-reader Yoshimi Matsubara (Hitomi Kuroki) finally finds a new place to settle down in the form of an old apartment block. It looks like the mother and daughter can finally get on with their lives, that’s until Yoshimi notices a damp patch on her bedroom ceiling.
As their lives continue to get hectic with the custody battle and Ikuko trying to settle in to a new kindergarten, a dark secret involving the disappearance of a young girl years earlier and the appearance of water throughout the apartment block comes into play.
What really makes Dark Water work is the strong bond between the damaged but loving Yoshimi and the troubled Ikuko. Both characters are played well by each actor respectively and the performance is so genuine, you’d be mistaken in thinking they were actually mother and daughter in real life. Unlike many horror films from recent years, Dark Water doesn’t rely heavily on special effects of CGI and instead opts for the building of tension and atmosphere.
Whilst Dark Water is not as pants-browning scary as The Ring or The Grudge, Dark Water is still creepy enough to be effective and a great addition to any horror fans’ collection.
Arrow have added some great features to the disc (when do they never?) including interviews with the director, the novelist and the cinematographer. There is also a “making of” documentary a reversible sleeve and a collector’s booklet.