Honogurai Mizu no Soko Kara
2002 / 101m - Japan
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Dark Water poster


December 30, 2003


August 14, 2023


A film that is often considered in the same wheelhouse as Ringu. It's not too weird a thought, both films are after all directed by the same person, they were released not far apart and they're both horror films. What made Dark Water so much better for me is that it's not quite part of that less-is-more let's-go-for-cheap Japanese horror cinema.

After divorcing her husband, Yoshimi gets into a legal battle over the custody of her daughter. Her husband never really cared for her, but now he wants to take her away from Yoshimi. They need to find a flat quickly, so Yoshimi picks the first one she comes across. The place isn't great, and it may be haunted.

The start is slow, but the build-up is competent and things get progressively more tense. It's not exactly scary anymore and if you've seen a couple of these films you can easily predict the underlying drama, but the final third of the film contains some haunting and memorable scenes. Very solid, but a little dated.