Dark Waters (1993)

Comments Off on Dark Waters (1993) 15 August 2017


Studio: Severin

Theatrical Release: Released in Russia in 1993

U.S. Release: October 6, 2006

Blu Ray Release: April 25, 2017

Director: Mariano Baino

Not Rated

Review by Vidal Granandos

Director Mariano Baino’s Dark Waters is a horror with great ambition. As the film ages, its garnering audience and is being seen for the first time in Blu-ray. Is the water dark from running with blood or is it dark from sewage?

Elizabeth (Louise Salter) is young woman whose father recently passed away. Upon his deathbed she learns that her father funded a secret ministry on a remote island. Now that her father is deceased, it becomes Elizabeth’s responsibility to continue funding the convent. Wanting to know why she should pay for a church she’s never seen, Elizabeth decides to visit the monastery against her fathers wishes.

Elizabeth chooses the worse night to head to the mystery island. During a brutal storm, Elizabeth tries to bribe the local fisherman to take her to the island. All refuse except one. Upon her arrival she has a sit down with a few nuns to gain a better understanding of the church. While staying secretive, they try to persuade her by stating it’s what her father wanted and she should respect his wishes. With the added payments the nuns can carry on with their medieval religious practices. What does her money also guarantee Elizabeth in the arrangement? A place to stay and access to the dusty old library that no one uses. That is the psycho nuns sales pitch! Why would Elizabeth want to travel on a boat to a remote island filled with nuns just to read old books?

Seeing that there is no end to the storm, Elizabeth is stuck on the island until she can find a boat that is willing to take her back to the mainland. During her stay, Elizabeth befriends a young nun name Sarah. Sarah seems to be the only level headed one on the island, but is afraid to ask questions. Elizabeth keeps on have reoccurring nightmares from when she was a little girl. What do these nightmares mean? Did Elizabeth make a mistake coming to the island? Has she been here before?

Dark Waters starts off incredibly strong. Right from the beginning we see nuns and priest getting stabbed by huge crosses. What causes the disturbance within the church is a medallion that has the face of a demon. The grotesque beast looks like a mix between Satan and alien. Picture the Predator face but with more breasts. The atmosphere that director Baino sets up is superb from the makeup to the dark organ music to the set design of the church. 

However, once we’re introduced to Elizabeth is when Dark Waters comes to a painfully slow stop. Louise Salter herself does a fine job as the lead but it takes way too long for the next death to come by. I understand we have to set up the plot. But the plot is an after thought. It constantly changes on the fly. Perhaps Mariano Baino did this to add twist and turns to keep the audience guessing how it was going to end. And it does eventually wrap up with a satisfying twist ending but the journey to get to that moment was a chore. Elizabeth is constantly changing her mind making her exact purpose confusing and uninteresting. As the movie goes on, nuns are trying to fight Elizabeth so the viewer is not sure who is good or who is evil. Plenty of scenes drag to finish adding little to the overall presentation. Although Dark Waters was filmed in 1994, the pacing would have you believing it was made during the 60’s.

Special features

· Audio Commentary with writer/Director Mariano Baino

· Lovecraft Made Me do it Featurrette

· Let there Be water Featurette

· Controlling the uncontrollable featurette

· Deep into the water

· Director intro

· Deleted scenes

· Slient blooper real with audio commentary with Baino

· Short films of mariano baino

The abundance of special features adds to the overall Blu-ray package quite nicely. The picture quality is updated wonderfully. The enhancement made this a beautiful movie to watch and the sheer volume of content is nothing to complain about.

Dark Waters had all the potential to be a great horror films. The atmosphere it builds in the beginning with heavy organ music to satanic occult themes should’ve been the perfect mix for horror.

Unfortunately Dark Waters is in the shallow end. While starting as a horror movie, Dark Water quickly turns into a dragged-out, confusing mystery. Elizabeth is a fine enough character but the story quickly takes a back seat for the sake of keeping the viewer guessing what is happening next. But by quickly changing the rhythm one has invested in, makes for a movie that doesn’t flow very well. I really wish I could give Dark Water three stars since it had so much going for it. Some will enjoy a one time sit through, as I mentioned there are elements  and moments the movie has going for it. As much as I want to give it credit, the story ultimately is not interesting and painful to sit through.

Movie Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

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