What the Hell Happened in Lady in the Water (2006)?

A couple of weeks ago I felt in the right kind of mood for an M. Night Shyamalan movie, and found myself watching The Happening (review here). Shyamalan gets a lot of hate, and in fairness I’ve mainly watched his better movies, but I’m rapidly finding myself wanting to watch everything he’s done for the hell of it. The Happening was an absolute disaster in more ways than one, but you guys, it was so much fun to watch and make fun of.

lady-in-the-water-review-2006When I reviewed it for the blog, some of you mentioned Lady in the Water, telling me it was even worse. You realise what you set in motion in that moment, right? I had to watch it!

It took me 2 days, and 3 sitting to actually get through it, it was actually that bad. There were times I wanted to call it quits, but I stuck with it for the sake of the blog. I can’t write a review I’m afraid, mainly because I’m still not sure what actually happened in front of my eyes, but for my own sake (and yours) I’m going to try and explain what happened. Spoilers ahead, but you’re not missing out on much!

The movie opens with a stick man explanation of the people who live in the water world, watching over us land folk, until we got greedy and forgot about them. Every now and again they send their water kids to our world, but most of them get eaten by wolves. Um, okay.

Then we see a stuttering Paul Giamatti, the only maintenance man in a huge apartment complex, talking with his pool cleaner about how dirty it is. It’s almost like there’s someone living there, eh, eh?

Bingo. Bryce Dallas Howard is the lady in the water. Giamatti tries to take her outside, but they get attacked by a grass wolf. Stay with me now, this isn’t even that weird yet.

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It’s called a Scrunt apparently, which sounds like the world’s worst Pokemon to me.

I don’t remember how, but we somehow learn her name is Story, and she is a Narf. I guess Narfs are the people from the water world, but what a terrible name.

It just so happens that one of the resident’s mothers knows all about the story of the Narfs, which is super lucky, but to convince this old lady to tell him the story, Giamatti has to convince her that he is actually a child (?!) and finds himself sat on her sofa with a milk mustache. No innuendo, I swear.

It turns out that Story is trying to find the ‘chosen one’ who’s a writer, leading Giamatti on a goose chase around the building. He meets a grumpy film critic, a group of rowdy lads, a crossword puzzle loving Jeffrey Wright and his son who reads cereal boxes, and a dude who only works out his right side of his body. Oh! And Mr M. Night Shyamalan himself, who’s writing a Cookbook that has nothing to do with cooking. Right.

I’m being way too detailed here, let’s speed things up a bit.

Old lady says that for Story to get home, they need a Guardian, a Healer, a Translator, a something else (I forgot) and a Guild.

The Translator turns out to be the puzzle fan’s kid, who stares at a cupboard of cereal to work out they need to perform a ceremony.

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I really wasn’t kidding about the cereal you guys…

The Healer is some other lady who sees butterflies everywhere by the pool.

The Guild is the group of lads, who decide the best way to get Story home is to throw a huge party for the grumpy film critic.

Cue party time, and suddenly about 200 people live in this weird complex.

There’s a band, and them playing is crucial to the ceremony apparently, but they aren’t paying attention, and getting someone to go and tap them on the shoulder is out of the question for some reason.

The grass wolf has managed to find his way into the complex at this point, and ends up eating the film critic after he does this weird speech. Does Shyamalan hate critics? I bet he did after releasing this movie. Maybe he saw it coming, and just didn’t care.

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Turns out this guy saves the day in the end. By staring at the grass wolf.

I just lost it at this point, seriously. A giant eagle flies overhead and takes Story away, and then the credits rolled.

WHAT. THE. HELL. YOU. GUYS.

Dare I ask, has M. Night Shyamalan made anything worse than this? I need to know, just in case I have a sudden lapse in judgement and find myself with nothing better to watch on a Sunday night.

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware

So, this is brand new territory for me. I’ve been blogging about movies for almost 3 years now (almost 3 weeks here at Often Off Topic!) and attempting to review a book feels very much out of my comfort zone. More importantly however, I’m actually feeling quite proud of myself, because despite setting myself a 2017 resolution to read 1 book per month, I read my first book in a week! I’m feeling very positive about achieving this goal.

As I mentioned in my Resolutions post, I’ve deliberately chosen books from a wide variety of genres to broaden my horizons a little, but as the last book I read (and thoroughly enjoyed) was The Girl on the Train, I thought picking something in the same genre might be a nice way to ease myself into the challenge.

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By way of introduction, author Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex and studied at Manchester University, and has now settled in North London. Before she became an author of two Top 10 Bestsellers in both the UK (Sunday Times) and the USA (New York Times) she worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. Currently, Ruth is working on her third book.

The Girl in Cabin 10 is thrilling in every sense of the word, from its very first chapter to it’s last, I’m deadly serious. Here’s the official blurb from Ruth’s website:
“When travel journalist Lo Blacklock is invited on a boutique luxury cruise around the Norwegian fjords, it seems like a dream career opportunity.
But the trip takes a nightmarish turn when she wakes in the middle of the night to hear a body being thrown overboard – only to discover that no-one has been reported missing from the boat.
How do you stop a killer, when no-one believes they exist?”

Lo’s story begins with her being burgled and attacked in her own home, and becoming deeply traumatised by the ordeal, leaving her with a bad case of insomnia and panic attacks worse than what she already deals with on a daily basis. During one particularly bad night, Lo walks in the rain in the middle of the night to her boyfriend Jude’s apartment, which is currently empty as Jude is out of the country. When Jude comes home whilst Lo is sleeping…let’s just say Lo isn’t the only character in the book to be attacked at night in their own home!

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It was a fantastic way to introduce the book’s main character whilst setting readers up for what’s to come. There was no doubt in my mind that this was going to be a bumpy ride. Once Lo is aboard the Aurora, we get a quick insight into the other passengers on board, including the rather out of place passenger in cabin 10, who hastily lets Lo borrow her mascara with no intention of wanting it back. That very night Lo is woken in the night by a scream, a chilling splash, and the sight of blood smeared on the veranda of cabin 10. What makes matters worse is that the Aurora’s head of security confirms to Lo that there was never a passenger in cabin 10 to begin with…

To say anymore than that would be a disservice to author Ruth Ware, because I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It was so difficult to put down, and I felt such a strong connection to Lo as she was trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. It feels like a game of Cluedo, only most of the clues don’t add up until much later on. There are twists and turns aplenty, and the last 80 pages or so were so nail-bitingly tense that I stayed up ridiculously late just so I could finish it.

I have a feeling I may this too many times during this challenge of mine, but The Woman in Cabin 10 would make an excellent movie!