A solitary motel caretaker finds a young woman in the swimming pool and discovers that she is a water nymph whom he must help to escape the clutches of an evil creature lurking in the backyard.
M. Night Shyamalan finally ditches his trademark “twist” formula and instead has produced a modern fairy tale that reminded me a little of the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Tim Burton. Paul Giamatti brings pathos and more importantly, humour to his part, something sorely missing from Shyamalan’s previous work; I have always thought that he has always taken himself far too seriously. Bryce Dallas Howard’s elfin beauty also makes for a perfect nymph and their relationship is sweetly endearing. Pretty much all of the other characters are a little too peripheral and underwritten and the whole format of fantasy means that there is no logic to events meaning that there is little in the way of suspense or surprises.
But Lady In The Water does have some charm and is a pleasant little story that’s probably rather more satisfying for children than adults.