I know, I know.. Its not exactly horror, but it has elements of horror and fantasy, so F it. Lady in the Water is an attempt at a modern fairy tale placed in an urban setting, but in attempting to create a new mythology, the film just ends up feeling forced and pretentious. A water nymph befriends the superintendent of a remote apartment structure, requiring his help to allude an evil beast as he assembles a group of tenants that must awaken the heroes within themselves to save the nymph and bring magic back to the world. Shyamalan is sure to convolute the plot as much and as often as possible, introducing new rules, characters, and background story every few minutes while building up to unexpected twists that have come to be expected. Subjectively, I prefer films that exclude the audience, and exist in a world with their own rule set that has already been set in motion, and doesnt require over-explanation. That is part of the fun in suspending disbelief. Oddly enough, Subterano (which was reviewed recently) managed this, but Lady fails miserably in that it feels obligated to dumb down the plot so that no corner is left unsolved. The acting is fine, with obvious inflections and timing that has become apparent in all Shyamalan's films, and the plot still manages to hold attention, but the story itself will never take hold of children or adults alike in becoming the modern fairy tale it was intended to be. It is worth checking out to make your own opinion on the film, but I am certainly not a fan.
Rating: 7/10. Points awarded for the technical work.