Don't go, I want you to be my mommy...
~ Natasha's first real words in the film.

Natasha Rimsky is the main antagonist of the 2005 film Dark Water, a Hollywood adaptation of the 2002 Japanese film of the same name.

She is the ghost of a little girl who drowned, and during the movie, was shown to have become vengeful and angry. Her primary goal was to find a replacement for her mother and become that person's daughter. With this goal in mind, she acts as a serious threat to Dahlia and Cecilia.

She was portrayed by Perla Haney-Jardine, who also portrayed a young Dahlia in the beginning of the film.

Biography

Past

Natasha is presumed to have had neglectful parents in life. One day, her father abandoned her, and then her mother did the same. It's revealed later that her mother believed she was with her father, and her father thought she was with her mother. In that same sense, she was left to fend for herself.

During this time, her backpack fell into the water tank of the apartment she lived in. She went to the top of the tank to retrieve it, but fell in the water and drowned, due to not being able to swim or due to becoming trapped.

From that moment onward, she became bound to the apartment complex as a ghost, and haunted the apartment room she used to live in. With her new power over water, she scared residents of the complex by appearing in water or creating leaks with no source. 

Dark Water

Dahlia and her husband Kyle are in the middle of a divorce and fighting over custody for their six-year old daughter, Cecilia (nicknamed "Ceci"). While Kyle wants Ceci to live with him in Jersey City, Dahlia prefers moving to a cheap run-down apartment in Roosevelt Island because it is located next to high-quality school he wants Ceci to attend.

While the dispute is not settled, Ceci lives provisionally with Dahlia. When visiting their new home on the island for the first time, Ceci sneaks to the roof and finds Natasha's backpack, which is pink and has Hello Kitty on the front, near the water tank.

Natasha's parents, as seen in a photograph.

After they move into their room, 9F, an area in the roof begins to leak dirty brown water. Dahlia snoops in the above room, 10F, and discovers it is flooded from every faucet with no explanation. She discovers the portrait of Natasha and her family, but none of them look happy to be near one another. She complains to the building superintendent, Veeck, about the water, but he insists he is not a plumber and can't fix the problem. He only shoddily fixes the leak in the roof, which he says is all he can do. The fix only lasts temporarily and the problem grows worse. At the same time, Dahlia is intimidated by teenagers in the apartment and sees a girl screaming in the washing-machine water.

Ceci encountering Natasha at school.

Ceci's concerned teacher tells Dahlia that the girl has been interacting with an imaginary friend at school. At home, Dahlia inquires Ceci about that friend, and Ceci explains that it is a girl called Natasha, who is the same age as her.

In a later conversation, Cecil says that Natasha's mother used to mistreat her, just like Dahlia's mother did to her. Surprised by her daughter knowing a secret she never told her about, Dahlia demands that Cecil answer who told her that, to which Cecil replies it was Natasha. Dahlia does not believe this and instead suspects Kyle did so.

Dahlia tells Cecil not to talk to Natasha anymore. Ceci attempts to, but in school, Natasha disturbs her hand while painting (though it's seen as purposeful to others in the room), and is asked to wash off in the restroom. While doing so, Ceci is confronted by Natasha. She barricades herself in a bathroom stall, but water floods around her, causing her to scream and faint off-camera. Kyle is able to pick her up, as Dahlia is in a meeting with her lawyer, Jeff Platzer.

After having several nightmares, Dahlia follows footsteps all the way to the rooftop of the apartment, and upon opening the water vat, discovers Natasha's corpse. Veeck is arrested for negligence, as it's revealed he knew about Natasha being in the vat but refused to do anything about it. Platzer also tells her how Natasha was abandoned by her family, leaving Dahlia to realize Natasha is likely trying to harm Ceci so that Dahlia may become her new mother-figure.

After a bit more time passes, the leak is patched permanently, and Dahlia assumes all business with Natasha is gone. Dahlia is alone for a bit, but soon sees Ceci in a hooded bathrobe asking for a story. She begins to read, but then hears Ceci is really in the bathtub, and the girl she is reading to is Natasha herself. Hurt by Dahlia's apparent "refusal" of motherhood, she vanishes from the room and to the tub, where she faces Ceci with a blank stare. 

Dahlia desperately appealing to Natasha to not kill Ceci.

The door to the shower becomes locked, and Dahlia witnesses Natasha is trying to drown Ceci. She bangs on the door of the shower, and begs Natasha to not kill Ceci if they would all live together, but it does little to stop her. Realizing the true request, Dahlia tells Natasha she will be her mother, but only if she spares Ceci. Natasha asks her if she promises: Dahlia says she does, and that she'll be her mother forever. Natasha smiles and vanishes, but floods overflow from the shower and engulf Dahlia, killing her. Now ghosts, the two are seen holding hands as they walk across the hallway of the apartment before fading. 

Near the end of the film, Ceci and Kyle are getting the last of their things from the apartment. While trapped in the elevator, Dahlia's ghost appears from a leak of clear water (hinting she now has the same powers as Natasha) and braids Ceci's hair for presumably the final time, telling her that she loves her and that she'll always be with her.

Appearance

Natasha is said to be one year older than Cecilia when she died. She looks the same as a ghost as she did in life, sporting long brownish-red hair, a reddish-pink coat, and was revealed to have owned a Hello Kitty backpack with Barbie dolls inside it. Her corpse was seen to have had pale skin, most likely from decomposition.

Personality

Natasha's personality in life is not entirely known, but it could be presumed she was not happy with her parents, considering that they didn't love each other, and that they didn't love Natasha: if they did, they would not have left her. 

In death, she was likely a passive spirit until she encountered Dahlia, from which she became fixated with somehow obtaining her love and becoming her daughter despite not even knowing her.

She hated Ceci chiefly because she was an obstacle to becoming Dahlia's daughter, and didn't wish to be "sharing" Dahlia with her despite her not even being her mother, showcasing phenomenal selfishness.

Though her plan was to kill Ceci, it seems she is capable of reason, as she smiles at Dahlia when she promises to be her mother, and spares Ceci as part of the bargain. Nevertheless, she cold-bloodedly and methodically set out to kill an innocent girl to get she wanted, revealing a truly sociopathic nature. This is further evidenced when she tragically asks Dahlia not to tend to Ceci, as she wants her to be her mother. After obtaining Dahlia's love, she becomes nothing more than a harmless spirit, as she now has someone to care for her, but only because she obtained what she wanted.

Overall, Natasha is a manipulative, selfish, cruel, heartless, sociopathic monster willing to employ whatever means necessary to achieve her goals, even if it involves killing. She is the type who will only cooperate when it suits her selfish wants and needs, with total disregard for the cost it has on others, thus sharing many similarities to Rhoda Penmark from The Bad Seed. This is showcased when she displayed no emotion or remorse whatsoever in nearly drowning Cecilia and subsequently taking her mother away from her, knowing full well the negative life-long lasting effects it will have on a girl, especially one who is now in the same place as Natasha herself once was.

The answer as to why Natasha became a malevolent spiritual entity in death who preyed upon an innocent mother-daughter duo despite having no apparent antisocial/criminal tendencies while alive remains ultimately unanswered. It is highly unlikely that she had a murderous or even malignant persona and would've never considered murdering or hurting other people. Considering the fact that her pre-mortem life is left ambiguous at best, it's possible that Natasha may have had some predisposition towards psychopathy, an inherent antisocial disfigurement of character triggered by the cruel abandonment that she suffered at the hands of her parents and her sudden death at such a young age by drowning. It is also possible that Natasha didn't have any susceptibility towards psychopathy at all, and may have just transformed into a spiteful, rancorous entity motivated by an apparent motiveless malignity due to forces beyond her control. Her sudden death at such a young age, the neglect and abuse that she suffered by those she trusted the most and the cold indifference she suffered and continued to suffer even after death may explain her total lack of empathy and humanity.

Powers and Abilities

  • Hydrokinesis: Natasha can appear from any source of water, and can cause water-related instances to happen (ex: flooding rooms, causing sinks to turn on, causing leaks) due to having died in water.
  • Manipulation/Possible Demonic Possession: Natasha only demonstrated this briefly, such as deliberately messing up Ceci's painting and locking the shower door. She also influences Ceci to convince her mother to rent a place in the apartment complex and again influences her to enter inside of the complex's elevator to play dolls with her.
  • Shapeshifting: Natasha only demonstrates this once, near the end of the film. She uses this power to take on Ceci's form in an attempt to receive Dahlia's love, but her face isn't seen, and when Dahlia realizes the real Ceci is in the bathtub, Natasha's real form is exposed.
  • Soul-stealing: Natasha was able to claim Dahlia's soul in making her her new mother upon drowning her by flooding the entire apartment.
  • Dream/sleep manipulation: Natasha's influence was able to render Dahlia completely unconscious for a full 24-hour duration, despite the latter nevertheless feeling as if she never slept. She can also be seen taking Ceci's form on numerous occasions throughout the entire dream.
  • Telepathy: Natasha can read the minds of living people, as shown when she told Ceci about how her mother Dahlia, was abandoned by her own mother when she was a child.
  • Telekinesis: Natasha can easily manipulate physical objects, as shown when she was causing destruction while plunging Dahlia's apartment in a literal watery deluge in a deleted scene and again when she locks Ceci in the bathtub as Dahlia attempted to rescue her daughter from drowning. She can also control the building's elevator, as shown when she briefly traps Dahlia inside earlier in the film and again when she leads Ceci towards the tenth floor to retrieve her Hello Kitty bag.

Trivia

  • Natasha is based off of Mitsuko Kawai, the antagonist of the original Japanese version of Dark Water known as In the Depths of Dark Water.
  • Even though she was abandoned by both her parents, it seems that Natasha still loved her mother somewhat, as seen during Dahlia's nightmare, she activates her powers while whispering "Mommy, come back to me."
  • Natasha originally "befriended" Ceci in the beginning of the movie, possibly to learn more about Dahlia. 
  • Natasha's death may have occurred recently in the film's timeline, as the Rimsky family was stated to have been living on the tenth floor only "up until a month ago".

 

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