Director – Mariano Baino (Never Ever After, Based on a True Life)
Starring – Louise Salter (Interview with the Vampire, Our Friends in the North), Venera Simmons, and Mariya Kapnist (The Lost Letter, Lushka)
Release Date – 1994
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 4/5
I recently made my way through two Severin releases, Drive in Massacreand The Other Hell, so I decided to give another release of theirs a spin. The Other Hell was what some call a nunsploitation flick and this other release went perfectly along with it. The film, Dark Waters, was a new one to me and as I stated earlier I know very little about nunsploitation flicks.
I love exploitation so it only makes sense that I should enjoy a few of these. I really didn’t care for the artwork on their new blu release but Severin has a good track record with me so I decided to give it a go. I want to thank Severin for being awesome and sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young woman who just had her father pass. While looking into his belongings she discovers that he had been donating a substantial amount of money to a convent on a small island where her mother mysteriously died. When she visits the island she is greeted with cold shoulders and malice until the mother superior offers one of the nuns to show her around the island where she uncovers something dark and sinister lives underneath and the convent keeps it at bay.**Spoiler Alert**
I was a little disappointed with The Other Hell and the artwork for Dark Waters made me think I would find nothing but dissatisfaction but I was very surprised with the overall film. I really enjoyed the look of the film and how dark and ominous it is. Mariano Baino really has an eye for horror and I’m shocked that he never went on to direct more.
The acting in this one doesn’t sit well with me. The characters we get range from your typical final girl we see in horror movies to strong women characters and even some rather funny characters that bring a laugh but don’t do anything to move the story along. The wide range of characters doesn’t make the film feel consistent. If the acting and characters were all more grounded it would have made the film so much better.
The story for this one is great. A secret convent performing rituals to keep a demon at bay is pretty fucking bad ass. Sadly, that takes the back burner to the leads interaction with the nuns. We get a lot of character development, which I typically like, but this time it just doesn’t work well with the rich story we have. There was some missed opportunity here but that doesn’t make it a bad film. The way the story is given to us is still great and the film has some chilling moments.
Finally, aside from the chilling imagery and beautiful scenes we do get some blood and gore. The effects are great and the gore looks great but the kills are not that imaginative. Overall, Dark Waters is a solid horror film but there was so much more left on the table. If you want a beautifully shot horror film then look no further. Check it out.
Lovecraft Made Me Do it Featurette
Let There Be Water Featurette
Controlling the Uncontrollable Featurette
Deep into the Dark Waters Featurette
Silent Blooper Reel
Short Films of Mariano Baino