Watch: Dark Waters 1993 123movies, Full Movie Online – Elizabeth is tortured by horrible visions from her childhood. She travels to a primative island to discover the truth about her dark past. On the island Elizabeth finds a malevolent order of nuns. There seems to be no escape from the menacing evil that inhabits this strange island..
Plot: A woman investigates the disappearance of her friend and her own murky past when she travels to a mysterious convent on a barren island.
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Island of the Burning Nuns
If you already think the title of this user-comment is weird, just wait until you see the rest of the movie! Mariano Baino’s “Dark Waters” is an old-fashioned creepy chiller and perhaps even the most underrated horror film of the last three decades. It’s definitely the best Italian horror film of the nineties, along with Michele Soavi’s “Dellamorte Dellamore”, even though they severely differ in tone and content. The plot of “Dark Waters” is very confusing and contains an incredible amount of holes; still Biano manages to create a genuinely unsettling atmosphere and stuffs his film with nightmarish images and unlikely monsters. The beautiful Elizabeth travels back to the remote and hard-to-reach island where she spent her childhood years in a convent. Even though her mother died here and despite the fact her father advised her on his deathbed never to return, Elizabeth is drawn to the convent, more particularly to the ominous dungeons and hidden passageways. The creepy setting of “Dark Waters” reminded me a lot of “The Name of the Rose”. Due to their strict and isolated life-styles, the nuns in this convent look mad and petrifying (some of them appear to be more than 150 years old!) and together they hide dark and very UN-catholic secrets. It’s truly odd, but also strangely disturbing, to see nuns running around with burning torches and damaged crucifixes. “Dead Waters” also features a handful of grisly images and a fairly gruesome finale, but the film is mostly about style and atmosphere. It’s practically always raining on this island, the nights seem to last twice as long as the days and even the villagers that live outside the convent look spooky. The music is very good, too, and lead actress Louise Salter is fascinating to look at. If the script had been a little more coherent and structured, this would have been a brilliant horror film. Now, it’s just a very good one.
DARK WATERS N/A (Mariano Baino, 1994) ***
I first heard about this film relatively recently through the Internet and, then, became even more interested in it when the now sadly defunct No Shame label announced two separate DVD releases a 1-Disc “Special Edition” and a Limited 2-Disc Set, with added supplements and even a replica of the powerful amulet depicted in the film! While a friend of mine who had watched DARK WATERS in the past told me he had been underwhelmed by it, I knew it’d be hard for me to resist blind-buying the not inexpensive set especially after reading the generally positive reviews which began cropping up (often accompanied by awesome-looking stills from the main feature). Even so, it took me a long time to finally sit down and as it eventually transpired dedicate a whole evening to the work of Mariano Baino!
Anyway, I was glad to see for myself (please bear in mind that I’m not usually a fan of the modern style in horror) that the hype surrounding this particular flick was indeed justified for this is surely one of the most audacious and impressive genre outings to emerge in the last two decades, even if the plot itself is derivative of several older ‘classics’. In fact, the cut-off and openly hostile community smacks of THE WICKER MAN (1973); the inquisitive female lead (often dressed in red) and the generally weird goings-on brought SUSPIRIA (1977) to mind; the creepy girl featured in the flashbacks could well have strayed in from KILL, BABY KILL! (1966); and the members of a religious order with their blind leader (sinister-looking but eventually revealed to have benign intentions) stems from THE SENTINEL (1977). Besides, the film’s overall look with full-size crosses fitted in candle-lit caverns, to where self-flagellating nuns habitually convene clearly owes a strong debt to ALUCARDA (1975).
Still, it all makes for a highly intriguing mélange of visceral thrills (Lovecraftian monster, some instances of gore including depictions of cannibalism) and mysticism (the afore-mentioned amulet, a mystery from the heroine’s past residing within a series of riddles); dialogue is minimal as well (which is just as well in view of the fact that the film was shot in English in the Ukraine with a multi-national cast and crew), and there are definite moments of lyricism throughout (given its elemental and spiritual overtones). While rather drab-looking as opposed to the traditionally garish “Euro-Cult” style (DARK WATERS came at the extreme tail-end of the trend) and featuring a largely unobtrusive score, this austerity actually helps the essentially oppressive mood which permeates the film. The result, then, contains more than its share of haunting images: the line-up of nuns along the horizon carrying burning crosses, the grotesque figure of the crucified ‘monster nun'(!), Sister Sarah’s revolting ‘unclothed’ appearance as a half-human/half-beast at the climax, and the closing reveal of the heroine as the convent’s new blind sentinel.
With an elliptical narrative (typified by the scene where the lead suddenly finds herself on the shore eating raw fish) infused with symbolism and the deft juxtaposition throughout of image and sound (a death in a blazing cabin intercut with a murderous attempt on Sister Sarah, or the association between children crying and the growling creature) this is the kind of film which needs more than one viewing to fully appreciate! At the end of the day, however, the evident low-budget of the production couldn’t effectively cater to all the various themes conveyed in its over-ambitious script so that some plot points remain obscure (such as where the mural painter apparently dwelling within the depths of the convent fits in the whole scheme of things), whereas the fact that the appearance of the creature is downplayed during the climax was probably forced on the film-makers rather than a deliberate decision on their part but these don’t effect one’s evaluation of the finished product in any significant way.
Incidentally, the No Shame edition presents the film in a new director’s cut (running 92 minutes though, not 89 as listed) which removes 7 minutes from the theatrical release version; this footage is still included as deleted scenes (even if it’s perhaps the weirdest collection of outtakes that I’ve come across since, on several occasions, a mere number of frames were taken out of specific scenes!). As I said at the start, I followed this viewing with three short subjects by Baino, which proved equally stylized (and unpleasant) making for a decidedly grim night! I wish I had the time to delve into the other extras as well the two documentaries and the various commentaries as Baino seems to be a talent to watch, and I’d certainly like to know more about the main feature (whose making was reportedly fraught with problems).
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 34 min (94 min), 1 hr 34 min (94 min) (USA), 1 hr 29 min (89 min) (director’s cut) (USA)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director Mariano Baino
Writer Mariano Baino, Andy Bark
Actors Louise Salter, Venera Simmons, Mariya Kapnist
Country Russia, United Kingdom
Awards 1 win & 2 nominations
Production Company York Entertainment
Sound Mix Stereo
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format 35 mm