‘The Water Man’ Review: A family film in a bigger number of ways than one, this young slanting spine-chiller follows a fearless child

In “The Water Man“, the confident and well-equipped directorial debut by David Oyelovo. The director nods to his aesthetic roots while the protagonist briefly opens the lunchbox “E.T.” -his.

A flash of retro pop culture feels right at home in this sensitive family drama. Where Lonnie Chavis plays Gunner Boone. A serious only child who recently moved in with his parents Amos (Oyelowo) and Mary (Rosario). Dawson) to the fictional Pine Mills, Ore.

Gunner prefers to sketch his graphic novels:

For a detective who investigates his murder and then throws the soccer ball. Amos brought into his room with enthusiasm, only to be turned down; the two have a strained relationship, especially when compared to the intuitive intimacy that Güner has with his mother.

But this relationship has its own set of challenges. Many of which centre on as Mary struggles with an incurable disease. While trying to keep her doom and deadly consequences a secret from her son.

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This is the basis of The Water Man, which focuses on Sagittarius’ search for the title character. A local legend believed to have the power of immortality. With the help of a cool and independent old girl named Joe (Amiya Miller). Guner embarks on a terrifying quest for life or death that puts the two in increasing danger. As they dig deeper into the mysterious forest bordering their town.

The Water Man, written by Emma Needle, proudly draws on its inspiration. From Spielberg’s lunchboxes to frequent references to Sherlock Holmes. Oyelowo does an excellent job of balancing the darkest elements of the story.

With adventurous adventures and moments of a bad mood. In a quiet moment with Mary Gunner, she asks if she knows where people go when they die. “That’s easy,” he replied—cheesecake factory.

The Water Man’s all-encompassing tone is one of the difficulties to come:

It’s a genuine concern that Oelovo can’t avoid and that he and his teammates bend down. With a light touch to keep the mod safe. (Supporting actors include Maria Bello as the local sheriff and Alfred Molina as the eccentric funeral director.) Chavis, best known for his work on the T.V. show “It’s Us”.

Puts a playful focus on his role as a young, thoughtful as well. Old age and utterly unprepared for the most devastating loss of adulthood. She and Miller have accessible and engaging chemistry as passionate opposites who nevertheless develop a relationship shared by shared pain.

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Shot with rich production values ​​and spectacular natural scenery. “The Water Man,” is a rare family film that is neither a trick nor a continuous CGI rehearsal. With the lowest denominator in cheesy laughs. Instead, it’s based on real-world realities that are recognizable, albeit unwelcome.

Even when engaging in fancy random flight (the pencil drawing animations that enliven Gunner’s work are captivating). Oyelowo brings careful sensibility and deep taste to films. That Hollywood is no longer producing but shouldn’t throw away anytime soon. There are as many exciting and impactful family films as there are families to enjoy.

It contains adult theme elements, scary images, danger and strong language. 92 minutes. An earlier version of this review does incorrectly stated that “Waterman” was available on request via premium video.

The VOD issue date is unknown. This article has been updated.

That’s pretty much all Oyelowo’s eagerly awaited debut has to do with recent Disney films. Aesthetically, it’s more akin to your standard Livestream pricing: professional enough, but not entirely worthy of the big screen.

Netflix viewers also expect a little more pampering. As was the case with Stranger Things and many of the Amblin impersonators.

Aquarius lacks the atmosphere of this project. It’s too bright, more like a sitcom than a thriller, aside from two kids – both great, with bright futures. The shows is surprisingly one-dimensional (as is Maria Bello as the local policewoman) considering the director comes from acting.

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But Oyelovo has children of her own, and she doesn’t seem to care what adults think. Under the pretext of feeding the children’s nightmares, he gives them something to dream of.