Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Here's the problem with a movie like Dark Water: you already know there's a ghost. You've seen the commercials on TV, and even if you haven't, you can tell just from the sickly green lighting in every scene that this is a ghost movie. So you, the person in the audience, have to sit around for an hour while Jennifer Connelly slowly figures out that, hey, maybe there's a ghost. These "psychological horror movies" always seem to think they're classy and intelligent when they're just boring. There's always a whole ton of scenes of pretty, critically acclaimed early-middle-aged actresses sitting around looking all worried and biting their lips. There's always spooky little kids with excessively pale skin. There's always unexplained grinding ambient sounds rumbling on the soundtrack. This is the build. When something does happen, half the time it doesn't make any sense (The Forgotten), and when it does, it's usually really disappointing. The Ring was good because things actually happened throughout the movie; the characters figured out really quickly that the video was haunted, and they spent the movie trying to solve the problem while lots of scary stuff happened. I could watch and enjoy the entire thing, but Dark Water is the sort of thing you just endure. And it wasn't helping anything that Jennifer Connelly's daughter and the little girl ghost and Young Jennifer Connelly in flashbacks all looked pretty much exactly like each other. I guess I was the only one who had any trouble figuring out what was going on, but would it have killed them to find three little kids who had different hair colors or something?