Dark Water – Marketing Recap

dark-water-posterThis looks like a crappy psuedo-horror flick designed to capitalize on the success of movies like The Ring by putting a young child in danger. Her single mother then has to figure out what the fuck is going on while… oh who cares.

The Poster

Whatever my feelings are about the movie itself, you’ll never get an argument from my when you put Jennifer Connelly on a poster. Both the theatrical and the teaser poster are creepy in a monochromatic sort of way. The teaser doesn’t really work for me because, quite frankly, it doesn’t show Connelly or give much guidance as to the plot of the flick. The theatrical version is only slightly better since it sets the scene and hints a bit more at the mood.

The Trailer

Really, really lame. Sorry, but it just doesn’t work for me. You will never sell me on a movie solely by putting kids in harms way. John C. Reilly and Pete Postlethwaite make brief appearances here as alternately spooky/kindly residents of the building Connelly and her daughter move into but they’re not given much to do. Can’t think this was anything other than a paycheck picture for either of them. There’s lots of poor lighting and leaky plumbing but that’s about it.

The Website

The site Disney created for this flick has a good premise: Use the building the movie takes place in as a navigational tool for the content. Unfortunately it’s executed in a way that only die-hard gamers will appreciate since you have to collect tools and find their use in order to get anywhere. If you hit “About The Film” at the top you get a standard navigation menu that works much better if your goal is to find out about the movie.

The usual content areas are all accounted for. There’s a rather slim Photo Gallery, a Video section containing two TV spots and the trailer (which also plays when you first hit the site), a Synopsis and Cast and Crew bios/filmos. Production Notes is labeled as “coming soon.” The movie opens tomorrow, Eisner. If not now, when?

Overall

This is aimed squarely at those who enjoyed The Ring, The Grudge and other movies like that. Mom must search for kid who has fallen victim to something spooky. This seems like the kind of story Stephen King could have told well in his heyday but the execution of this movie, based on the marketing materials, seems shoddy. I imagine there were lots of rewrites here. Unless you’re a fan of the modern horror/thriller genre I don’t see much in this campaign that will attract you to it.

By Chris Thilk

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in online strategy and content marketing. He lives in the Chicago suburbs.