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Dark Waters begins with a group of teenagers sneaking into a private area where they swim in a lake, and are threatened by a deadly presence. Director Todd Haynes uses this trope of the horror genre to emphasise that this is indeed a horror story, but a true one of corporate power and public victims. For the deadly presence is not a masked killer, but chemical waste, waste from the DuPont company that would poison generations in the Parkersburg, Virginia. Seeking redress, the locals hire corporate lawyer Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo), who fights a decades-long legal battle against DuPont. Haynes frames the events with a minimum of style, allowing stark images such as grim landscapes, storerooms filled with impenetrable documents and tiny gestures from the cast to express the immense weight of this true life story. Come the end, the viewer will likely be in awe of the indomitable courage on one side, and deeply depressed by the intractable greed on the other.