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Dark Water

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Ariel Gade, Dark Water (Movie - 2005)
Dark Water: Touchstone/Everett Collection

First came the Ring cycle. Then…the rinse cycle. Yep, even the washing machine houses something sinister in this J-horror remake. Yet Dark Water‘s not as soggy as it sounds. As Dahlia, a single mom menaced by a custody battle, abandonment issues, and gallons of H2O, Jennifer Connelly handles another messy role with grace. Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Salles guides her through the muck with a fairly steady hand, establishing an eerie sense of place with slime green tints and relentless rain-soaked shots. Though the gotcha! finale is as hokey as the original’s, the cheap shocks are otherwise kept to a minimum. The forces behind The Grudge 2 should take note.

EXTRAS No commentary, but in four featurettes the creative team spouts off about spooky sounds (editor Daniel Rezende used the heartbeat from his wife’s ultrasound to give ”voice” to Dahlia’s migraines); real-life phobias (Ariel Gade, who plays Connelly’s 5-year-old daughter, overcame her fear of water during filming); and Roman Polanski (as an homage, John C. Reilly’s character is named after the real estate agent in Rosemary’s Baby). The deleted scenes, in contrast, are rather skimpy — and entirely skippable.

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