REVIEW: Lady in the Water (2006)


Lady in the Water: F

At first, after seeing all the trailers and being brainwashed by marketing, I thought this was going to be the “Death of a Salesman” of fantasy-horror movies where some archetype-defying low-man (played by a great actor) is the unlikely hero, and the genre is forever affected, but I was wrong as fuck. Instead, we get typical M. Night Shyamalan with his signature “twist” in the final act. This movie is just another tragic point along the director’s steep decline.

I always like the trailers for this guy’s movies and I am usually intrigued during the first fifteen minutes or so, but then everything falls apart. His movies remind me of a five course meal gone wrong. The appetizers are always good as hell and get your hopes up, but then later, he takes the lid off of a dogshit casserole that he spent the whole night disguising as prime rib, even though it smelled like shit for most of the night and all the guests KNEW they would be eating shit. Then while you are sitting there bloated and sick, feeling worse than you’ve ever felt in your life, for dessert, he dumps melted ice cream in your lap while flipping you off.

There are some neat camera angles I guess. I don’t know. I’m trying to think of something redeeming about this movie. Sure, Giamatti is a good actor, but that just makes it even more painful to watch this guy try to sincerely deliver this garbage movie he’s stuck in. I wonder if his agent called him and was like “it’s going to be like The Neverending Story except it’s going to suck really bad” and Giamatti was all “finally! A challenge worthy of my skills!”

I want to give Shyamalan some credit for being ambitious, but the movie was too hideous and ridiculous. I think maybe he was trying to make parts of it overly-simple or silly to give it a “fairy tale” vibe, but he is inconsistent with this; just when you start to think he is committed to a simple “fable,” the plot gets so sloppy that it was a challenge to watch the whole thing.

There are lots of characters, but not a single lovable one. Avoid at all costs.

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