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Dark Water [2003] [DVD]

Hitomi Kuroki , Rio Kanno , Hideo Nakata    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
Price: 4.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Dark Water [2003] [DVD] + The Grudge [DVD] + Ring (1998) [DVD] [2000]
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Product details

  • Actors: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi, Asami Mizukawa, Fumiyo Kohinata
  • Directors: Hideo Nakata
  • Writers: Hideo Nakata, Ken'ichi Suzuki, Kji Suzuki, Takashige Ichise, Yoshihiro Nakamura
  • Producers: John Ledford, Kyle Jones
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Nov 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DCY00
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,715 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Dark Water is Japanese horror auteur Hideo Nakata's return to the genre after his Ring cycle made you too scared to watch television ever again. Where Ring dealt with a supernatural force wreaking revenge via technology, Dark Water is a much more traditional ghost story. After winning a custody battle for her daughter, single mother Yoshimi moves into what she thinks is the perfect apartment with her daughter Hitomi. No sooner have they unpacked than strange things begin to disturb their new life. A water leak from the supposedly abandoned apartment above gets bigger and bigger, a child's satchel reappears even though Yoshimi throws it away several times, and she is haunted by the image of a child wearing a yellow mackintosh who bears a striking resemblance to a young girl who disappeared several years before.

The conventional narrative follows Yoshimi's increasingly desperate attempts to discover who or what force is haunting her daughter, but the story's execution is far from predictable. Nakata is the master of understated suspense: there's always a feeling of motiveless malignancy that runs like an undercurrent through his films--far more frightening than out and out shocks--and here he also practically drowns his audience in water imagery. The film is saturated; the relentless dripping in the apartment, the constant rain outside and the deliberately washed-out photography make any colour, such as the yellow coat, seem incongruous and unsettling. Nakata also clears the film of unnecessary characters--this is an almost deserted Tokyo--preferring to concentrate the action on Yoshimi's rising hysteria as she struggles to understand what is happening and how to save her daughter. Granted, the special effects are somewhat unconvincing and the ending confused, but even so the result is a stylish and disquieting chiller that will do for bathtubs what Ring did for video recorders. --Kristen Bowditch

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: Japanese ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Japanese ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), Japanese ( Dolby DTS 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Booklet, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Given the phenomenal success of Ringu, which inspired a sequel, a television series, and a nearly identical American remake (The Ring), it's not surprising that Japanese horror specialist Hideo Nakata would turn once again to household objects as a source of terror. What Ringu did for television sets and video tapes, Dark Water will, for the faint of heart, do for kitchen faucets and leaky ceilings. Nakata certainly can't be blamed for going with what works, but if Dark Water seems at first like a cynical recycling of a successful formula, its director has developed into enough of a formalist to at least make it reasonably compelling. Set in a dreary, rain-soaked suburban landscape of concrete block apartment buildings, some of the film's subtly composed long takes wouldn't be out of place in a Michelangelo Antonioni movie. Its atmosphere is its best asset. The final payoff is nowhere near as elementally terrifying as Ringu's most famous sequence, but enough chills are delivered along the way to keep things interesting. ...Dark Water (2002)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eagerly anticipated 3 Oct 2003
Hideo Nakato (Ring series) is a genius who manages to make proper sinister spooky horror that doesn't rely on gore or jump moments. His tools are music, lighting and long camera shots down dark corridors, and all give the sense that *this* creeping evil is particularly malevolent. Its classic horror that plays on primordial human fear.
The story centres around a mother struggling to make a new life for herself and her daughter amidst a messy divorce. The strangeness begins when they move to a new part of the city, a new school and a new apartment with a perpetually leaky ceiling! I won't give any more of the story away than that, suffice to say I couldn't walk past so much as a puddle after viewing it without wanting to run screaming down dark ill advised alleyways.
If you enjoyed Ring you most certainly won't be disappointed by this. A definite must.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars saw it in the cinema pre-release....WHOAH!!! 25 Nov 2005
this was the first Japanese horror film i ever saw...
i've noticed since, with films such as Ring (and the sequal and prequal)that the Japanese generally do horror VERY differently to the west...nowhere is it more apparrent than this masterpiece.
where western horror movies rely on "orgasm entertainment" and in-your-face frights, Dark Water builds the tension very slowly, with the ominous reappearing figure, the schoolbag, and the water tank, all building a tense, confused apprehension throughout the film, and the last 30-40 minutes are probably the most terrifying i've ever seen. ever.
if you like the edge of your seat to be well-worn and slightly stained, this movie is DEFINATELY for you.
i would reccomend to to anyone, especially people who "don't like horror movies"
they've remade it in American now. Taking the disgusting slop that was "The Ring" i'm not going to waste my time with it.
sacreliege, if you ask me!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant creepiness - just add water! 29 May 2004
By Ruth Ludlam VINE VOICE
Nakata (mastermind behind the highly popular Ring films) returns to Japanese cinema screens with this, his eagerly awaited follow-up. Many people in the West have felt hugely let down by it, sadly. I warn you, it has none of the atmosphere of Ring: the gut-wreching terror of those films' set pieces like Sadako crawling up the inside of the well etc. is missing. Until the last ten minutes you will not see anything that will make you very scared. But asking to be scared in the same way as in Ring would be to miss the point of Nakata's slow build-up of eerieness and the way he messes with your understanding of reality.
The central character is a divorced woman who is trying to prove that she is a fit mother for her child. The film heartbreakingly portrays her sadness and frustration when she comes to realise that being a loving parent doesn't necessarily make you a good one. She is also rather disturbed, and Nakata plays around with reality by showing things almost entirely from her perspective,
so you find it difficult to tell when things are actually scary and when she's just overreacting. She screams a lot and there is much sinister music, but you will sometimes find it hard to work out what's scary... at least for the first part of the film. The other characters give welcome relief, and there is a deliberate anti-climactic effect when you see things through their eyes, because everything is normal. The leak in the roof is just caused by a tap left on in the apartment above, and they even discuss how long it has been adding to the residents' water bill. This comically undermines all of the tension that has so far been built up, and the viewer ends up suspecting that it really is all in her head. Even her daughter doesn't seem to find anything scary about the schoolbag.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nightmares revisited 15 Mar 2004
Have to agree with most reviews here - the best horror right now is coming from the far east; dark, disturbing & intelligent psycohlogical horror stories with a downbeat ending (Im a sucker for unhappy endings!). I made the mistake of watching this alone one night whilst my wife was at work, and have not been this unnerved by a film since I was about 14 (29 now) & saw the original evil dead. In fact thats probably the last time I had a nightmare after watching a horror film - until I saw this corker! Woke up at 4am in a cold sweat...not good. And no - I don't scare easily. IMHO more unsettling than ringu (though thoroughly enjoyed that film too, although the remake was a complete bastardisation - even thought the american version was going to cop out at one stage & drop the original ending for a cute & cuddly finish); my only complaint is charecter development of the missing girl - eg how her life ended at the place it did, and why she was so malevolent towards the protagonist compared with simply tragic? Saying that - I've only seen the film once so the clues may be in there..really do need to see it again. Thoroughly recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating 3 Oct 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This film is one of the best films (not just horror) to have come out of Japan. It is directed by Ring master, no not Sauron but Hideo Nakada and the author of Ring, Koji Suzuki. Both men combine (again) to produce a brilliant film. There are inevitably Ring influences but seeing how good that movie is, is that a bad thing? No, I think not. Have you not seen the film then here's a quick synopsis. Unfit Mother Yoshimi (she goes to the same school of bad parenting as Reiko!) fights for custody of her only child Ikuko, she moves in old apartment where there's a leak, things start to go funny as leak gets bigger plus there's an omnipresent red bag that keeps popping up. Ghost of a little girl starts appearing and making Ikuko isolate herself from friends and more importantly her Mother. Things get to a head and the ending has tearjerker all over it. Guys were in tears at the cinema it really does break your Heart. This adds evidence (as if we needed any more) to the debate that Japanese films are more emotionally binding with the viewer than pretentious American rubbish ever can be. One not to miss.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Waasley
4.0 out of 5 stars Ghostly matter...
I was given this a birthday present and have just watched it for the first time. Straight away I've got to say there isn't much wrong with it. Read more
Published on 24 Mar 2012 by S J Buck
4.0 out of 5 stars chilling japanese horror
loved it, starts off slow builds the story, then smashes you with a chilling musical score and eirie undertones. If your a fan of japanese horror you should give this a go
Published on 3 Oct 2011 by william
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably...
...the best of all the modern asian horrors, in my opinion.

I think this is a wonderful movie that has a 'feel' akin to Del Toro's The Orphanage. Read more
Published on 2 May 2011 by Stuart H
1.0 out of 5 stars Very slow and dull
Yes, I'm afraid this film was very slow and dull, right up to the point where NOTHING HAPPENS! Cerebral? No. Quirky and Japanese? Only in the worst possible way. Scary? Nope. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2010 by Stunt Goat
1.0 out of 5 stars Well that's ninety minutes of my life I'll never get back
This film is rubbish. I am a big fan of supernatural thrillers/horrors, but this looks like it's been directed by a 16 year old art college student. Read more
Published on 16 May 2010 by John, London
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment
Rather dull and predictable after the Ring films. The plot is reasonable enough but somehow it just fails to scare, perhaps because most of the characters are rather... Read more
Published on 24 Sep 2009 by White Tea
I'd normally be more constructive than I'm about to be but I have just wasted over an hour and a half of my life on what has to be the most overrated film since the hideously... Read more
Published on 25 May 2009 by Haunted Nostril
4.0 out of 5 stars Sent me to sleep!
Don't let the title make you think I didn't like this movie. It was incredible and a lot more moving than terrifying. Read more
Published on 7 Dec 2008 by Victoria Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars amendment of my previous review
after a few problems which were not the sellers fault i received my goods excellent condition and also when they said i would receive it i do, i can not fault this seller at all... Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by L. Jaszewska
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