A Horror Film about Evil Household Mold?

When we think of horror films and their antagonists, we usually think of machete-wielding slashers, clawed nightmares, and creepy dolls. We tend to not think of mold damage, let alone the strain of mold known as stachybotrys, as a sinister horror film baddie. However, not only was there a horror film on such a subject, but it was a film that saw a fairly wide release and starred Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connley. The film is 2005’s Dark Water, and the film’s main threat is dark sinister stains that begin appearing in Connely’s character’s home. I’m serious.

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Still less unsettling than David Bowie in tight pants.

Okay, not entirely serious. The mold imagery is prevalent in Dark Water, but the source of the staining is supernatural in nature rather than fungal. The apartment complex the Connley’s character and her daughter inhabit is haunted by the ghost of an angry dead girl that died in the apartment’s water tower. Her evil ghosty-ness, as opposed to mold, gives the plumbing leaks their sinister, black tint instead. Despite this, the staining very much resembles black mold stains you’d find in a property affected by water damage.

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Supernatural ceiling stains in Dark Water (left) and real-world black mold stains (right)

Overall, the film is a rather forgettable horror thriller that ramps up some decent tension but is scant on scares. It’s a forgotten film that you can probably find in the Wal-Mart bargain bin. However, the mold imagery makes it a bit of a standout for anyone familiar with remediation or mold treatment.