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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Dark Water

Dark Water (U.S. version)

Jennifer Connelly stars in the remake of Dark Water (Buena Vista)

In a summer of remakes, Hollywood once again turns to Asian horror for inspiration. This time it’s Dark Water (opening July 8 throughout San Diego), based on the novel by Koji Suzuki and film by Hideo Nakata.

When Dreamworks remade the Japanese chiller The Ring in 2002, and scored big at the box office, it helped launch a cycle of Asian influenced remakes. The Ring 2 and The Grudge followed. Now comes Dark Water and soon we’ll also have The Eye, and there are about a dozen other Asian properties (not all horror) waiting in the wings for their American adaptation. Roy Lee, a producer who has been involved with The Ring, The Grudge and now Dark Water, is the one who had the bright idea to take the most popular Asian films and remake them in Hollywood. Lee understood that Hollywood would be receptive to this idea because the films were from familiar genres and had proven their popularity in existing markets. As he explained to me in 2002: “By seeing a completed movie, they [Hollywood executives] could see what works and what doesn’t work. Because it could have easily been a writer submitting a script with the same premise but this just happens to work out better. It’s easier to access.”