It’s Nunsploitation, Italian style. Following the death of her father in England, Elizabeth (Louise Salter) is curious about the convent that he supports. Located on a remote island on the Black Sea, there is no electricity or phone lines and only a single ferry that travels to the island once a week. Despite the objections of her father, Elizabeth returns to the convent, where she was born and was told her mother died in childbirth. Elizabeth herself spent the first seven years of her life there but has no memory of it. She may learn a lot more than she bargained for as she encounters some very, very strange sisters of weirdness.
Director Mariano Baino himself learned many of the lessons of his fellow Italian masters of the genre (i.e., Dario Argento, Maria Bava), but makes some of the same mistakes too. Italian horror has an emphasis on atmosphere and, thankfully, minimal dialogue. Sadly “Dark Waters” has the occasional narrative incoherence that audiences have come to expect as well. It can be difficult to tell how well the nuns were thought out other than how they would treat the protagonist. You may never arrive at a clear picture of what the nuns have been doing, but at least it looks nice.