Dark Water is a Japanese movie based on the novel written by Koji Suzuki and directed by Hideo Nakata, creators of The Ring. There are two movies titled Dark Water, the original and a remake starring Jennifer Connelly. This is a review of the original movie, which is available on Amazon Prime.
The plot: Yoshimi moves into a creepy apartment complex with her six-year old daughter Ikuko. Soon strange things start happening: a little red book bag that keeps coming back, the spreading stain on the ceiling, glimpses of a little girl dressed in a yellow raincoat. The little girl doesn’t seem to like Ikuko, who is drawn to the water tower on the roof (water is a recurring theme in this movie). How far will Yoshimi go to protect her daughter?
There are a few things left unsaid: Yoshimi is fragile, maybe suicidal. She has no money and is in a nasty custody battle with her ex-husband. There’s no question of the reality of what happens here, but the events that occur in Dark Water mirror Yoshimi’s downward spiral, which is the best type of horror. Yoshimi does some stupid things in this movie, but when your life falls apart that will happen. She’s holding on by tips of her fingernails, so she clings to Ikuko, but she also resents her daughter. It’s no coincidence that the monster of Dark Water is a child who wants love.
Dark Water has lots of good jump scares, but that’s not the point. This movie reminds me of a tragedy in a L.A hotel involving a water tower. There was footage of a girl in an elevator, which I’m not going to link to, because it’s easy enough to find on YouTube. People seem to think the video is spooky and that the woman is talking to ghosts, when what we’re really seeing is a person in the midst of a breakdown.