Release Date: July 8th, 2005 by Touchtone Pictures.
The Cast: Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Tim Roth, Dougray Scott, Pete Postlethwaite. Ariel Gade.
Directed by Walter Salles.
BASIC PREMISE: When Dahlia (Connelly) and her young daughter move into an apartment in New York City, dark water appears along with strange, supernatural visions.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Jennifer Connelly is an amazing actress—she is both beautiful and knows carry this movie with strong a strong performance without overacting. Her stares are haunting and effectively help to heighten the tension and paranoia. The plot is fairly simple, although it does get slightly complicated when Dahlia’s husband (Scott) threatens to divorce her and forces her to hire a lawyer (Roth). That subplot is not nearly as interesting as the supernatural plot that is reminiscent of The Ring and The Sixth Sense. The cinematography is very impressive throughout and the setting designs perfectly add a creepy tone. Pete Postlethwaite plays the apartment’s creepy handyman who speaks very little and hides many secrets. Even his facial features look creepy. The standout performance, though, is Ariel Gade as the young daughter who witnesses strange apparitions—her acting is just as good as Haley Joel Osment’s in The Sixth Sense. Fortunately, the movie is not as dark as you would think it is thanks to the lack of graphic violence/blood and some surprising comic relief from John C. Reilly who plays the apartment manager.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: This movie actually has an interesting, underlying message even though most horror/supernatural films do not. The basic message is that every child needs a mother no matter how old they are. The similarities between Dahlia’s childhood and the ghost’s past life are very smart and thought-provoking.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: At some points during the movie, you wish Dahlia would just find a new apartment instead of going crazy in a haunted one. However, that is forgivable because, otherwise, there would not be much else to this movie.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
THE BOTTOM LINE: A visually stunning and suspenseful supernatural thriller with a typically good performance by Jennifer Connelly and a stand-out performance by the young Ariel Gade.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "D" Menu