Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dark Water [2002] Pt.1

Ok, after that period of rest I think I'm going to do another J-horror film and its remake. Only a pair this time, no worries k?

From Hideo Nakata, director of Ringu [1998] fame, comes this little gem of a horror movie. The style is similar to Ringu but, unlike Takashi Shimizu of the Ju-on series, Nakata succeeds in bringing us a new story with his movie AND it works wonderfully.

So I've realized that writing 'reviews' isn't really what I'm doing here. I like to go into detail too much on an almost scene by scene basis so I'll call this what it is: a synopsis. \(O_O)/

Excellent sleep aid!
Horror movies take up a good slice of my life. While at uni I liked to hang my towel on the back of my white door so that with the lights out it made a dark shape against that background. It looked sorta like this.
After reviewing all those Ju-on's I tried to have a Ju-on themed dream for a week but instead one of my friends stole it the other day. What a punk.
The best scares stick with me. This is why Jaws comes to mind when I'm at the beach. I know I'm not alone there. Well, after you see this movie, you'll look at water tanks differently. I know I did.

Right from the opening credits I could feel some dread start to build up. Much love to Kenji Kawai for another excellent score. You might know him for his work on Ghost in the Shell [1995], the earlier Ringu, and Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni [2006] among others. The first time I watched this opening I wondered what I was looking at. Later I would realize what it was. A view from under the surface. Now that's what you call fore-shadowing!

We move on to see an elementary class being dismissed, save for a single little girl, Ikuko. Her mother, Yoshimi, is being held up at a divorce proceeding. The actress, Rio Kanno, gives an excellent performance as a mother at the end of her wits trying to keep her daughter in the face of her cruel husband's efforts to make her suffer. That punk. (Òmó)9"
She goes out in search of a place for the two of them to live and arrives at a dingy looking apartment complex. The place is cramped, dim, and worst of all there's a moldy stain on the ceiling. No, worst of all there's hair in the tap water! But the rent is cheap and that's all that matters at the moment.

Our first little taste of horror, if you don't count the opening, arrives in the elevator. Yoshimi takes in the general state of disrepair and tries to hide her dissatisfaction. Her daughter's hand slips into hers and reminds her what she is fighting for. She grips her hand reassuringly and resigns herself. The elevator reaches its floor and her daughter takes off for her room. That wasn't her hand... From the lobby the apartment manager sees something odd appear in the elevator after the doors close.

While the Realtor delivers his sales pitch, in typical slimy salesman fashion, Ikuko runs off to see the roof. She skips around for a while before spotting something. A cute little red handbag! Complete with cartoon rabbit.
The apartment manager and Realtor don't hesitate before dumping out the contents: toys. It's clear that this bag belonged to a little girl before though he notes that no little girls live here now. The only thing he has to say is, "What luck for you, eh?", making no effort to find its original owner. It really goes a long way towards showing how little they care for what goes on here. Yoshimi declines the offer though, pointing out that they don't know whose things they were. What a good mother.
After moving in they hear some noises from upstairs. Some one is running around. How rude. Only then does she notice the mold spot on the ceiling which the Realtor ignored earlier. (Has it gotten bigger?) The next morning it grows even more and has started to leak. Although she keeps a smiling face on in front of her daughter, the stress of their situation has started to give her migraines.
She takes Ikuko to school after filing a work report with the manager. He only tells her that he will file a record of her complaint. While at the school she witnesses the principal reduce a child to tears for calling his teacher stupid. She quietly hides her displeasure with their harshness.
The stain continues to leak and grow while the manager ignores her pleas. She finally decides to speak with the noisy and leaky tenant of the room above hers. No one answers the door and she goes back to the elevator. However, as she descends she sees the door ajar and a little girl wearing a yellow raincoat standing in the doorway. By the time she gets back up the door is shut again. What a punk ass eh? Playin' her like that while pretending no one is home. (ಠ▂ಠ)凸
Later that night she asks about the asinine tenants but the manager insists that apartment is vacant! Curiouser and curiouser...

That's it for now. I always have trouble trimming these posts..... (^__^;;)7