Cursed Water (2024) – review and opinion about the film [UIP].  It almost sounds like a Stephen King idea

Former baseball player Ray Waller and his family move into a new home. There is a swimming pool in the garden, which they are happy to renovate and use for fun, rehabilitation, spending time together and everything else. They do not realize that the pool has magical powers and requires sacrifices…

The plot line sounds like something out of Stephen King's head. It would be nice if the event took place in Maine, but apart from that? A haunted/cursed/paranormal everyday item? He is. A father slowly losing himself due to the impact of something? He is. Boring and more comical than the scary end result? Unfortunately, they are. I looked at who wrote it, and there it was… the screenwriter of the recent Two Minutes to Hell movie. Generally, a horror film is released in early February and March. I don't know what else I expected…

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The events of the film begin in the past. Little Rebecca Summers tries to fish a boat from the pool behind her house. But either she's the biggest clumsy in the world or there's an unseen force pulling her into the water. As she tries to climb up, something takes her to the bottom. From under the water there appear to be some people standing on the beach and on a trampoline, but we don't have a chance to look at them. In the end, all that remained on the surface of the water were the bunny slippers that the girl was wearing on her foot – the only evidence that anything had happened here.

Cursed Water (2024) – review and opinion about the film [UIP]. The pool handles it all

If the above description sounds more like a farce than a horror movie, then you have an excellent nose. This plot idea is so ridiculous that even the 100% sympathetic actors who occasionally get scared can't hide the fact that we're essentially dealing with a parody, something resembling black comedy, rather than real fear. The characters in the film want to go to their pool so much that the viewer wonders when they will start hugging it and throwing a leg over it. Ray (Wyatt Russell) repeatedly stresses that they are a pool family, that the pool is the best thing that has ever happened to them, and that a great idea to get to know the neighbors would be to have a pool party. I wouldn't be surprised if “pool” is the most frequently uttered word in the entire movie. The climax – at least in my opinion – comes when the family goes to the doctor and Ray explains that he takes rehab seriously, exercises several times a day, and then ends the entire speech with a short break and sums up: “We have a pool.” The camera then pans to the center in front of him, zooming in slightly on his face, his smiling face contrasting strangely with the (for example) annoying soundtrack.

The entire cast is really trying to get something out of this scenario. Russell is generally interesting, especially towards the end of the film, but he often seems quite clumsy, as if he wasn't sure what he was going to play – tonally, the director gets lost time and time again, thus ruining what little tension he has managed to build the quest on. Wait for the next “scary” moments. Kerry Condon seems to do very well as a concerned but also anxious mother and wife, but her character – in theory – was supposed to be so much more than that. The film takes time to tell us how difficult it was for her when Ray was still pursuing her career as a baseball player, as she had to get a job at a local school, and was training to become a teacher for children with special needs. needs. And you know what? None of these details are of any importance whatsoever and are not reasonably developed. Just like the adjustment difficulties of young Elliot (Gavin Warren), we hear mainly from stories. But at least they made sure his teenage sister, Izzie (Amelie Hoverle), was played by an appropriately adult actress so you could unscrupulously pan the camera over her body while she was swimming or strategically position yourself so that half the screen was on display. She was lifted by her back as the frog dived. Seriously – at some point I started to feel stupid when I looked.

Cursed Water (2024) – review and opinion about the film [UIP]. A few ghosts, but a lot of female figures

is anybody there?

As I already mentioned, there is nothing to be afraid of here. The fact that we're dealing with a haunted swimming pool effectively torpedoes any tension, but even keeping an open mind, most of the scares rely on typical jump scares – a few moments of silence and suddenly a bloated drowning man appears behind or next to the character with comically bulging eyes. Or another dry animal (I don't know how, because it died in the water). Sure, you can jump when the music suddenly jumps from 0 to 120 dB, but that's not the point of scaring the viewer well. The second thing is that sometimes the characters act so stupid that they deserve something to happen to them. Either Izzy swims twenty meters into the pool, not thinking for a moment that the day before it was maybe two and a half meters deep, or Elliot checks who's on the board he's under and swims to the end instead of leaning slightly in the pool to the side… It may seem like nothing, but there is so much stupidity and similar oddities here that it all piles up and starts to get irritating.

However, it must be admitted that two of the director's ideas leave a good impression – at least visually. I loved it when the characters were plunging into the endless depths of the pool and the only point of orientation was the rectangle of the pool's water surface that could be seen somewhere in the distance, lit by artificial light, and the relevant scene taking place nearby. The end of the movie – the only moment where I felt anything, or even liked how it was done.

“Cursed Water” is a bad movie. I don't know if it's as bad as the writer/director's previous product, the aforementioned Two Minutes to Hell, but it's certainly at a similarly low level. There's nothing scary about the concept, the director's direction is uneven, sloppy, and usually more boring or funny than scary. Well, I don't know where Mr. Price McGuire grew up, but when I hear words like (I'm paraphrasing): “It turns me on that a Catholic boy kissed me on the lips, to them it's like forbidden fruit.” I don't know whether I should laugh or cry. Well nothing. I'm going to another show! Maybe this would be a little better?

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