Yeah, yeah, yeah, Batman Begins is awesome and War of the Worlds is better than expected. But if you want to experience a part of New York City many don't usually get to and want to feel appreciate your apartment (go Schadenfreude!), Gothamist recommends Dark Water. We had been curious about this film for a while, and though we fare poorly at even slightly scary films, we were too tempted by seeing how Walter Salles would film this forgotten part of the city.

Basically, it's the story of an uncommonly beautiful woman and her moppet child renting the Worst Apartment Ever. Ever! We're talking dank and dark, crazy elevator, ghosts, brackish water, creepy basement and the scariest leak this side of the Titanic. Jennifer Connelly plays a newly separated mother who doesn't have to enough money to live in Manhattan and refuses to admit defeat by moving to cheaper Jersey City, where her estranged husband lives (a $800 a month two bedroom). So mother and daughter move to an $900 a month two bedroom apartment - no, wait, that's one bedroom, with a living room that could be another bedroom - on Roosevelt Island. Proving to be wiser beyond her years, Ceci almost commission-blocks the real estate agent ("Mommy, I don't want to live here...it's not the city..."), her mind is changed when she finds a possibly possessed Hello Kitty backpack lying around. And the sound that you hear is a run on the Sanrio store by city real estate agents.

Since the recent Spiderman movie was the closest to capturing Roosevelt Island - and that was just the tram - Dark Water crows about being the first movie to be set there. And it is cool, showing a side of Roosevelt that is not the Smallpox Hospital - the massive apartment buildings "built in the Brutalist style" that look depressing and overwhelming. [Color sidebar: Dark Water is by the same author, Koji Suzuki, that wrote The Ring; the American version of The Ring is a movie in blues and greens, while Dark Water is a movie in browns and greys.] The movie also gives props to the local public school and how the commute from Manhattan can be very speedy. One movie gaffe: Somehow Connelly's character is able to speak without shouting in a cellphone while in a subway station where a train is pulling in. But Gothamist can almost forgive that since John C. Reilly's overbearing real estate agent was right on the money ("There are tons of people who want this place!" and "Oh, the lobby will be renovated."). Trust us - you'll be headed to the tram to wander the streets and take pictures.

Roger Ebert gives the movie three stars, as does the Daily News' Jamie Bernard. The NY Times' Manohla Dargis is more dismissive, but does give the movie props for being a Manhattan real estate horror movie.

Jennifer Connelly learned about Roosevelt Island when she chaperoned her son's school trip. More: Forgotten NY on Roosevelt Island, book about the history of Roosevelt Island from the Roosevelt Island Historical Society, and an art installation/walking tour we went on started on the island.