Monday, January 24, 2022

Remake This Movie: Dark Water (2005)

 When you need a Japanese Film remade for America, hire a Brazilian.  That's the case with 2005's Dark Water, a Film that suffered from bad Marketing.  In many places, it was billed as 'Jennifer Connelly's First Horror Film.'

Ignoring the fact that Labyrinth is clearly Horror for Kids, there was Dario Argento's Phenomena.

With that petty complaint out of the way, let's see what they added/changed/broke/improved 3 years later with this one...

We still get flashbacks to the original girl- still shared with the Mom- but this time they are in a less ugly shade.  Hurray!

The Plot changes very, very little here, so let's just go over any notable things or, barring those, any random changes...

The Dad plays a much bigger part and we have Scenes involving Mediators.
We get these instead of 16 slow walking and looking shots.

We only get like 5 of them in this one.
The Building Owner- who's John C. Reilly- is still nice and helpful, but they give him a little bit of a 'dark side.'

In one Scene, he says that he's meeting with a Client...but he's actually betting on horses.
So, to further note some differences, I watched the Unrated Version.

It cuts one 2 minute Scene and adds back in a 1 minute Scene.

This one more clearly sets up Mom's past mental dealing with her terrible, junkie Mom.

I guess that's better than Sleepwalking for like a week as a kid.
We get a similar version of the Lawyer- who comes in at the Hour mark-, Building Owner and Superintendent confrontation, but there's more to it here.

They discover the body with the Police and heavily imply that he knew about the missing girl.

Throughout the Film, you can see that he's drinking bottled water and not the Building's.

In the original, he acts suspicious, leaves and is never seen again.
Mom still makes the sacrifice, but it's more direct and somewhat more logical here.

This time, the girl is going to drown in the bathtub- thanks to Chekhov's nigh-unbreakable Shower Glass- as the whole thing fills with water.

In the original, she just kind of lays there and dies.
The Epilogue is much stronger here, to be honest.

It's only weeks later and she's getting the last of the thing with her Dad.
Ghost Mom closes the Elevator door, does the kid's hair right and then lets her go.

It's still somber, but it's also far less muddled.  The End.
A better Film in alot of ways, but also quite different.  As far as Remake's go, it's a pretty good balance of telling the same Story...but a bit different.

The American Version is much more of a Drama first and a Horror Film second.  We get slow moments of dread and eerie visuals...but it is much more about a Single Mother and her kid.  Connelly, as you'd expect, nails the emotion of every Scene.  It's a given right- she can act.

Quality wise, the Films are pretty even.  By having a Brazilian Director- most known here for The Motorcycle Diaries- who's known for Drama instead of, for instance, an American Horror Director, you get a different Film.

If you like the slow spooks and dread, stick with the Original.  If you like a Drama that has Horror (see the similar Under the Shadow from Iran, for example) in it, go with the newer one.  

If you still need help deciding, only one has Red Herrings in the form of- ooh- rude teenagers.

A Drama or a J-Horror.  As for me, I'll probably go with the latter- it's just got a unique feel.

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