“Lullaby. And good fright. The creator of The Sixth Sense and Signs wants to tell you a bedtime story.
A story M. Night Shyamalan told his children is the springboard for this spellbinding plunge into the supernatural. Paul Giamatti plays an apartment manager who finds an otherworld water nymph named Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the pool, then sets out to help her return to her home, The Blue World. “It’s about to get very dangerous,” she warns. And very fascinating. Because fierce Blue World monsters prowl nearby, determined to destroy Story — and anyone who aids her, including the apartment dwellers who come to realize they are players in her tale. Their lives have undiscovered purposes. And how they defy the monsters to fulfill those destinies forms the amazing heart of discovery in Lady in the Water.”
“Lady in the Water” is rated PG-13 for some frightening sequences.
On a positive note, the film is brilliantly cast. Leading them is Paul Giamatti as Cleveland Heep. He’s fantastic as the meek handyman with a mysterious past. The rest of the supporting cast is made up of a bunch of faces that you vaguely recognize but are still strong personalities. While the fairy tale realm requires a lot of suspension of disbelief from audiences, the performances from these characters goes a long way in making it as successful as it is.
In the end, “Lady in the Water” is the kind of film that fantasy fans will enjoy and Shyamalan fans will want to check out no matter what the reviews say.
The DVD has a slim but thorough selection of bonus features. In the “Lady in the Water: A Bedtime Story” featurette, Shyamalan explains how the idea for the story was based on a bedtime story he made up for his kids. It was also turned into a children’s book. This featurette is only 5 minutes long. To get more into the making of the movie, you have to view “Reflections of Lady in the Water”, a 6-part documentary that’s about 34 minutes long. It covers the usual topics the characters, the look, the location, the creatures, post-production, etc. You’ll also find two minutes of audition clips for extras, a 3 minute gag reel, trailers and DVD-ROM Weblinks. Rounding things out is 5 minutes of deleted scenes; most of the scenes are nothing significant featuring more interaction between Heep and Story, some brief scenes with the tenants, and more.