Lady in the Water – Nostalgia Critic

Is this the FUNNIEST Shyamalan movie ever made? Nostalgia Critic says…YES! The Nostalgia Critic reviews Lady in the Water.

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. I remember when I was younger and I found this movie at a second hand shop. I was looking for scary movies that weren’t R-rated, and this one seemed to be scary…at least it seemed like it. I had no idea who Shyamalan was or anything like that; I just remembered having high hopes for this random movie I picked up for a few trade-ins. I took it home and watched it…and, I remember feeling both confused and angry. I was confused because I had no idea what was going on, and I was angry because it just seemed to end without any real conclusion that made me feel good. I can’t explain it. I can’t say I hate it, because I honestly don’t, despite all the “funny” errors pointed out by Doug…but, yeah, it’s a weird movie.

    • But, honestly, Doug acting like an idiot and laughing at every little thing is…really stupid. I found none of the things he laughed at to be funny. Really, I took it all seriously, because that’s what it’s asking us to do. It’s not supposed to be funny, so why are you purposely trying to make it funny? Ugh.

  2. Rob: Oh honey, no. LMAO

  3. Did those tree dudes just say: your ass is grass ? WTF ?

  4. The “twist” was that no character was who you expected them to be. Guardian, Healer, Guild, none of them were the “obvious” choice. Despite how much they had been portraid as that character type -so obvious the audience is supposed to think they worked out the foreshadowing- you’re then supposed to be surprised when they turn out to not be those people.

    I appreciate the movie for its special effects and what it attempted. I really think it would work better as an anime. Or even an animated show in the same artistic style as Avatar. A nice long series that gives chance for the mythology to build and be given to us slowly rather than dropped on us as a complex and boring bedtime story.

    Wolves made of grass, tree apes, water born muses, giant eagles, and a warrior that’s hugely muscular only on one side of his body are all images that -sort of- work if presented as animation.

  5. Surprisingly, this movie is still less of an ego-trip for Shyamalan than “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” is for Kevin Costner. That mullet-sporting schmuck wouldn’t even WANT to include the notion of sacrificing himself (or his art) for the world.
    (Seriously, I don’t think I’ve seen anybody take on that movie since Spoony reviewed the video game tie-in.)

    The sad part about “Lady in the Water” is that a story about water nymphs/muses being in danger of Big Bad Wolves COULD make for an interesting fantasy. I imagine that if it were made like “Pan’s Labyrinth” it would at least be something creative, surreal and/or emotionally driven. But I’m going to take a wild guess that Shyamalan doesn’t know how to just let a fairy tale or surrealism come naturally.

    • And if you pay careful attention after that, almost EVERY film Costner did was a selfie. Postman, Water World, Wyatt Earp – all basically Kevin Costner being Kevin Costner and not much else.

  6. Loved the poker-game bit at the beginning. Interesting review and, dear-god, that movie looks terrible! Never saw it and now have almost no desire to.

    Took way too long in the review to connect “Narf” to Pinky and the Brain I was seriously wondering if you had made that connection.

    Will criticize you a bit for calling BDH “an anorexic Julia Roberts” when a good chunk of the movie is spent looking at BDH’s well-shaped, creamy, thighs. Nothing anorexic about her look, hell, Julia Roberts is skinnier.

    Also, for M. Night, interesting use of the Hitchcock/Vertigo zoom effect when they’re looking at the pool while running and yelling.

    And, man, the bit with the critic and the wolf as pretty damn heavy-handed. I mean, it’s almost on levels of the “Godzilla” movie with the Siskel and Ebert Mayor of New York and his assistant. That’s just damn heavy-handed symbolism. Well, everything in the movie, with M. Night casting himself as the under-appreciated writer whose stories will change the world.

    Damn, this movie just looks horrible.

    • “Took way too long” – I figured NC was enough of a PatB fan that he most certainly wouldn’t miss it. In fact, I was wondering if the gag was too obvious that he decided to pass (sort of like how MST3K passed on all the Battlestar Galactica jokes they could have made for Space Mutiny – just too obvious).

      But NC got me on that once: Secret of Nimh 2. I kept waiting and waiting for him to make a PatB joke, and when he finally did, it paid off big time.

    • lacking_psilosynine

      yeah the anorexia comment was…bad. bad doug.

  7. “Skrunt”?


  8. Man, I never this movie would be so stupidly hilarious.

    I mean, Narf? I’m always gonna think Pinky’s nonsequiters when I hear that, not mythological creatures.

    And those quirks? They only work if the character is complex enough, but every one of the characters Shalamalyamadina makes are just so 1 dimensional it doesn’t matter.

    Also, a kid sees the future by reading cereal boxes? Are. You. Fucking. SERIOUS!?!?!? I would love to see what that kid sees when he sees John Cena on the Fruity Pebbles box.

  9. Before I saw The Sixth Sense (Finally!) this was my favorite Shyamalan film. I loved what it was trying to do with myth, legends and storytelling as well as atmosphere and music, I do acknowledge Shyamalan casting himself as a visionary and the only character to die was a snobby critic was a bit stupid. Still, if he had gone through a few more drafts, taken out those stupid elements and really focused on making things work like he did with the Sixth Sense, this could have been a great film. As is, I still have fun with it and will definitely watch it if the oppurtunity ever arises

  10. He actually called himself a genius who would change the world? Couldn’t he have at least been subtle enough to cast an actor in the writer role? It’s beyond self indulgent.

  11. Hmmm, nope. Still not funny. I mean, Lady in the Water MIGHT have been moderately amusing, but your raucous laughter kept throwing me out and making me go, “Why’s he laughing? That’s not funny.”

    That straw critic was just depressing. There’s nothing so HEINOUS as somebody who can’t be argued with because they think the act of arguing with them in and of itself is what makes you wrong… and that ending was kind of depressing as a result.

    Although, that scene with Paul Giomatti was AMAZING. I saw it and went, “What if… what if Shyamalan’s entire career is just a scheme to be able to make famous actors humiliate themselves like this? It would make him the most brilliant meta-director of all time…”

  12. This movie is the cinematic equivalent of the atmosphere of an opium den.

    Now, now, Critic, I’m sure some boy was inspired by Shyamalan’s writings…he then found a camera
    and internet reviewing was born! It makes sense now; that’s why Shyamalan is the only one who can send the NC into such fits he simulates bongo drum playing and tries to eat his hat. Genius!!!

    Why does fate hate Bryce Dallas Howard?
    Think about; she’s a really good actress who keeps acting in trash;
    Spiderman 3
    Twilight Saga
    That adaptation of As You Like It
    The Village
    And now this.

    She is either the best part of these movies or one of the only good parts of these movies.
    The only time when she wasn’t in trash was Jurassic World but that movie is very divisive with many people think it trash

    So that’s it; you’ve reviewed all of Shyamalan’s films: hope he makes another one for you to review 🙂

    • Stewart Little?

      • Fuck you, I love Stuart Little! And she wasn’t even in that movie!

        • 1. I didn’t say that Stuart Little was bad.

          2. I was responding to Meganerd’s last sentence about reviewing all of Shyamalan’s films. Stuart Little is a Shyamalan film.

          • Oh my god you’re right….that is so messed up…

            Even though I really like Stuart Little, I was just mentioning to someone how an episode about it would be hilarious.

            But I had forgotten it was written by…him…MY CHILDHOOD IS RUINED!!!!!!!

            Aha! But now when people ask what Shyamalan film I liked better, since I’ve only seen Unbreakable and The village, I can just say Stuart Little.
            Still taking care of me Stuart, 🙂

          • Sixth Sense is pretty good, too. If you haven’t seen it, I’d recommend watching it. Especially if you haven’t heard of any spoilers for it.

          • I’m not sure if I have heard spoilers for it…but I ‘ll give it a shot.

            What’s the worst that can happen… I’d just have to sit through an unenjoyable Shyamalan film…which is probably the worst that can happen come to think of it…

            Still looks good. Alright TragicGuineaPig, I shall take thy advice!

          • Watched Sixth Sense: AMAZING!!!!

            I had stumbled on a couple spoilers….but the movie was still amazing!!

    • lacking_psilosynine

      she was in “the help”, which won an oscar

    • Jurassic World was trash

      • My point; Jurrasic World is very devise, the general opinion leaning more toward dislike.But it more liked then other Bryce Dallas Howard films so I excluded it.
        Also, being someone who disliked the film, I must ask, how did you like it in comparison to the Shyamalan films she was in, Spiderman 3 or the Twilight films?
        Also did you think her performance was good in Jurrasic World?
        Or at least good enough to make note

    • Wait…all this time, Malcolm wasn’t Shyamalan?!!??!!?

      WHAT A TWIST!!!! Teehee

  13. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Great episode and loved you losing it at the staring at cereal boxes part and man this movie is way welder than the happening is and WTF was with the eagle picking up and how did her hair change to blonde….so many QUESTIONS!!!! Can’t wait to see Sir you do fifty shades of grey for valentines day or not but here’s to hoping you don’t do a clipless review.

  14. I actually did laugh out loud when it was shown that the kid was reading the cereal boxes. Funny review!

  15. I remember seeing in a trailer that this film was only rated PG, and I thought “Is the rating board out of their minds?!”. But no. It was Shyamalan who was out of his mind. That wasn’t scary at all! There wasn’t even an opportunity for “Zuul, motherfucker, Zuul!”. Or if there was, you should have used that gag then.

  16. For the record it’s supposed be pronounced NYMPH! as in water nymph!

  17. I always knew that The Critic would bring about the apocalypse for daring to insult our one true God: Shyamalan.

    I knew nothing about this movie going into watching this review, and I honestly thought that you were being facetious during that opening sketch when you said that the characters were called narfs. It’s just too stupid to be true… or so I thought.

    Also, how is it that when the adult has to act like a kid he acts nothing like the actual kid in the movie? The kid (like the kids in every other Shyamalan movie) talks and acts like an adult.

  18. lilith_ascennding

    Holy hell, I didn’t think this movie was that ridiculous, but boy was I wrong. I remember thinking it had a decent concept when I heard the plot of the movie (I’ve never actually seen it myself. Heck, I remember the trailer scared me as a kid, but that’s another story entirely). I did not expect this movie to be this bat shit crazy and pretentious. Hardest I’ve laughed at an NC review in a while. Also, Off the Deep End had way more of a developed and interesting plot than this movie. At least Mermando isn’t a pretentious douchebag or a vague supernatural entity that just sits there staring at a wall for a few hours.

  19. Well, this movie DID make me hungry for Waffle Crisp at least…but it’s never coming back. (Sniffle)

  20. Okay, hear me out. I watched this movie again a couple days ago because I thought I remembered liking it when I was younger (it is important to point out that I’m 22). Compared to other Shyamalan Films:

    The actors and actresses seem invested in their roles.

    The dialogue is more realistic. Not as many contractions, more realistic statements on average.

    Shyamalan’s character actually does something, instead of being a pointless insert.

    The supernatural element, in this case sea nymphs and Scrunts, is not ridiculous like the aliens in Signs. Even today, the Scrunts look intimidating to me. The names are weird, but made up fairytale names (which include the names of all fairytale creatures) rarely sound normal. Bunyip isn’t exactly scary or cool sounding.

    The character quirks, although they are forced, actually play into the story, unlike “hot dogs”. Fairytales tend to have oversimplified characters with convenient traits that play into the story. For Shyamalan, it could be a lot more pointless.

    The twist isn’t forced. It makes sense that you might confuse who the different important characters were supposed to be. Yeah, the fact that there are duplicates of different quirky characters is forced, but it plays into the story.

    Mainly, it’s not laughably funny. In my opinion, nothing will ever be funnier than the aliens in signs. Is this entire review honestly funnier than, or even close in comparison to, the one “Pantry Door” gag?

    It’s not a great movie, but it doesn’t suffer from a lot of Shyamalan’s tropes. Even you (Doug) only referenced one trope in the review. Also, for me personally, this movie did something that no other Shyamalan movie did: it inspired me. Yeah, as crazy as it may sound. I was 13 when this movie came out, and probably 14 when I finally saw it. By that time, I had started writing stories. When I saw this movie, I was inspired by creatures that can collapse their form. I was inspired by multiple characters coming together to perform unique tasks. I was inspired by the sense of mythos; another world within our own world. I have almost always agreed with your analyses of Shyamalan’s movies. None of them are great, but some like The Sixth Sense are good. However, this is the first time I have almost completely disagreed with your perspective. Not only do I feel that any of the other movies on the list were far more ridiculous, but I also realized that the only thing I laughed at in this review was how Malcolm jumped over the couch. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I found this movie entertaining. Even the ridiculously obvious commentary on critics was forgiven, mainly because I disagree with a lot of critics. The movie “Spy” with Melissa McCarthy got a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. By that standard alone, I will never agree with a lot of critics. And I’m not defending Shyamalan, especially not after I got hyped up for The Last Airbender and then saw it in theaters. You can guess how that ended. Just consider that, even if only by comparison to his other movies, Lady in the Water is a more interesting and much less trope-y film.

  21. I was waiting for the inevitable Pinky and the Brain joke.

  22. Hey now, just because I’m seeing it correctly doesn’t mean I’m not stoned. 😉

  23. Shyamalan, you beautiful bastard – you at last did it:’)

  24. Wow. I can’t believe that I thought this was a horror movie when I was younger. LOL. Man, I really want to see this, especially after I saw that first chase scene and that ending… WHAT!?… 😀 Also, yay, this reminded me of old NC videos… Yeah, I said it. Great review!

  25. Wow, yeah.

    I remember this was the featured movie on a flight I was on around that time, and I mostly remember not following it and dozing in and out as I lost interest. I didn’t realize how bat-crap crazy it was.

    I think this movie gets less shit then the Happening, because at the time, people were still impressed by The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, while Signs had mostly just left us scratching our heads. I remember this movie getting mixed results as most critics seemed to confused or afraid of being accused of “not getting it” to really tear it apart.

    By the time the Happening came out, the public had fully awoken to the fact that Shaymalan’s best work was long ago exhausted.

  26. Your picture of Mars was actually of the moon taken during a lunar eclipse.

  27. They killed Star Wars 1313 to make Frozen, another reason I like the Princess and the Frog more than Frozen.

  28. I unashamedly love Lady in the Water. Its a modern fairy tale. There’s nothing in it any crazier than giant beanstalks, castles in the clouds, houses made of candy, etc.

  29. The Screenwave player seemed worse in this.

  30. Okay, I’m going to say this again:

    Shamylan intentionally writes awkward dialogue. I do not understand why people accept the awkward dialogue in his earlier films, but then hate it in his later films (The Last Airbender Excluded because that was a genuinely horrible film).

    His whole style is to have all his characters be awkward and not as powerful as they think they are. Unbreakable? The main character isn’t a super confident character and isn’t macho. Signs? The dad isn’t very strong and is a bit awkward along with everyone else.

    It is his trope, but it isn’t unintentionally funny. His humor is very dry. The dialogue in The Happening is supposed to have dry humor. Lady in the Water. Them running away from the wolf is supposed to be kind of awkward. A lot of it is awkward and it is supposed to be.

    That doesn’t make them great films, but I hate seeing people mistake awkwardness for bad writing.

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