Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara)
dark water | Honogurai mizu no soko kara | hideo nakata | takashige ichise | ken'ichi suzuki | toshihiro nakamura | hitomi kuroki | rio kanno | mirei oguchi | drama | mystery | thriller | japan | based on | novel
Film: Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara)
Director: Hideo Nakata
Writer: Takashige Ichise, Hideo Nakata, Ken’ichi Suzuki and Yoshihiro Nakamura
Starring: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno and Mirei Oguchi
This film begins showing a young girl who is waiting for her mother; she is played by Mirei Oguchi. She is at school and it is raining.
We then shift to a room where we have a woman talking to two mediators. She is played by Hitomi Kuroki and she is going through a divorce with her husband, he is played by Fumiyo Kohinata. We learn through this that she has moments of instability in her past. She used to be an editor for a book company and she had a breakdown while doing this. She blamed it on the books she was reading over and over. Kohinata is not playing fair and what he wants is custody of their daughter.
The film then shows us Kuroki with her daughter, played by Rio Kanno. They are looking for an apartment. Kanno is getting tired as they have looked at quite a few. Kuroki does get her excited about the last one. They go to a building that looks older. It is raining outside and they meet with the real-estate agent, played by Yu Tokui. Inside we meet the property manager; he is an older man and played by Isao Yatsu.
They go up to the apartment and Kuroki likes it. Tokui is nervous, because he notices a water spot on the ceiling. Kuroki panics when she cannot find her daughter. She searches the apartment and then goes downstairs. She asks Yatsu if he saw her and he hasn’t. He does see her though on the monitor. Kuroki gets into the elevator and goes to top floor. Kanno is outside and finds a bag. She wants to keep it, but Kuroki doesn’t know who it belongs to. It is put into lost and found for the time being.
The next day, Kanno goes to her new kindergarten. Kuroki meets with the principal and watches as he and a teacher scold a child. She then goes to a job interview. It runs longer than she thought it would and Kanno has to wait. She actually has to leave it so she can get her. While she is heading that way, she sees a poster for Oguchi and realizes that she is missing for 2 years. Ahead of her she sees that Kanno is with her ex-husband. She freaks out on him and takes her daughter home.
The problem with this is that it gets back to the mediators. More information is revealed to them by Kohinata. She breaks down in the hallway and her lawyer in the divorce has to calm her down, he is played by Shigemitsu Ogi. He has her come back to his office and explains to her that she needs to keep it together, even when it is too difficult or they are going to win.
Kuroki sees the red bag in the garbage, but then finds it on the roof when she cannot find Kanno. Kanno is starting to act funny. While playing hide and seek at school, she sees someone walking toward her hiding place and water dripping off of her. She then passes out and Kuroki has to come get her. She freaks out at the principal and teacher, thinking that they did something to her. It doesn’t make things better than it turns out that Oguchi lived in the apartment above them. The water spot is getting larger and she has even complained to Yatsu and Tokui to get it fixed. Neither do anything.
We also learn through stories and flashbacks that Oguchi’s mother disappeared and then she did. No one has seen her for two years. What happened to her? What is going on with Kanno? Can Kuroki figure this out before it is too late? Where is all of this water coming from and why?
I have to say that I have seen the American version first before seeing this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of it to begin with, but after seeing the original version it makes more sense to me. This film isn’t overly scary. There are some creepy parts, but this film is more about this unstable mother slowly losing her mind. She is going through a divorce, she is struggling trying to get her life together and then to make matters worse, the apartment above her is flooded, leaking into her apartment. There is also the haunting of Oguchi she has to solve before it is too late. I would say that the acting is good and the concept of the film is solid. I felt horrible for the woman and really started to hope that things would work out.
Now I did have an issue with the ending, but after thinking about it, I think it is actually the best thing for Kuroki and Oguchi. It isn’t the best for Kanno and that is sad. I will say though that we see Kanno grow up to be Asami Mizukawa and she has an interaction with Kuroki to end the film that I did like. This film does come from the genre of J-horror like The Ring and The Grudge. The problem is though those films are scary and have parts that creep you out. This film does not have much of that, but more a story and concern to what is happening.
Now with that said, I would recommend this film. The acting of this film is good and the story is solid. This film is really seeing a woman who has a past of instability losing everything around her and trying to do what is right. I wouldn’t come in to expect to be scared, but this film does have some creepiness to it. I would definitely recommend this one if you’ve seen the American version and liked it or if you are a fan of the genre of J-horror. I would say that definitely this film is worth a viewing.
My Rating: 7 out of 10