If J-horror derives its primary chills from the irrational and inexplicable, then it’s no wonder that Hideo Nakata’s literal-minded ghost story Dark Water is about as frightening as a soggy diaper. Unemployed mother Yoshimi (Hitomi Kuroki) is engaged in a bitter custody dispute over six year-old daughter Ikuko (a superb Rio Kanno), and her anxiety over being separated from her progeny only becomes more pronounced when she moves into a dank, dourly lit apartment with a leaky roof. Nakata and Takashige Ichise’s screenplay (based on Ringu author Kôji Suzuki’s novel) is an occasionally touching examination of maternal devotion and sacrifice in which Yoshimi must protect Ikuko from the specter of a yellow raincoat-wearing girl who lived in the upstairs apartment before her absentee mother’s neglect led to a fatal accident involving the rooftop water tank. Nakata knows how to subtly induce dread with measured camera pans and whiplash edits, and it’s to his credit that his film rarely endeavors to scare through cheap Hollywood shock tactics. Unfortunately, his film rarely endeavors to scare its audience at all, wading through a rather pedestrian set-up that – due to a profusion of mystery-defusing green-tinted flashbacks – ultimately washes out in a sea of tedium.