Dark Water (2005)
Directed by the talented Brazilian Walter Salles (Diarios de motocicleta), Dark Water is stylish, wonderfully photographed and intriguingly paced. Still, the thematically weak and predictable premise of its story makes it all a rather tedious experience. The elements used for mystification are not very original (little girl, water, creepy buildings, elevators) and when Dark Water tries to make up for this by being thorough and - at times - poetic, the film instead becomes slow and unsuspenseful. Salles' best asset here is the brilliant cast - all of which could have done with more challenge - Jennifer Connelly is solid in a conventional role. John C. Reilly is entertaining in his small part, and Pete Postlethwaite could have been a catch if his role hadn't been such a drag. Most interesting is Tim Roth as a lonely, uncharming lawyer, but his role is unfortunately underused. Walter Salles doesn't project a lack of talent, but this story, which is based on a Japanese film of the same name, just hasn't got the potential to match his direction.