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darkwater1Dark Water is a psychological drama based on a short story by Koji Suzuki—the Stephen King of Japanese horror and the author of Ringu—which simmers, but never comes to a boil. The story is simple: Daphne (Jennifer Connelly) is going through a messy divorce and custody battle for her five-year-old daughter. To earn full custody Daphne needs to present a stable living environment and rents a cheap, rundown old apartment near a good school. They have a home but something feels off about the apartment—plus a large water stain on the bedroom ceiling gradually weakens Daphne’s already fragile mental state. Dark Water moves so slowly that often it feels more like a movie about bad plumbing than a study of urban dread, but there is something hypnotic about the smoggy yellow color pallet of the film that breeds an uneasiness in the viewer. Too bad this atmospheric thriller is so long on atmosphere and so short on thrills.

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