Okay, I am a huge fan of Signs and The Sixth Sense. I think M. Night Shyamalan did amazing work with the horror genre in both films. He breathed new life into a dying breed of movie, giving them something new among all of the cliché-ridden movies that share the genre.
So, I really wanted to like this movie. I, along with pretty much everyone else, was very disappointed by The Village and I very much wanted the director to redeem himself. He failed. Miserabley. Now, I could see his intentions throughout the entire movie. I knew what he was going for and really, it could have worked very well if it had been done correctly. The biggest problem I saw was that he tried to make it be too many different things at once. It was part fairy tale, part horror, part comedy, part fantasy...it goes on. If he had chosen just one and focused his efforts on it, I think the movie would have been very good. Instead, it ended up being a long-winded, prentious, illogical mess.
The movie is self-aware in some ways, often mocking itself and its own ridiculous story and explanations. This works in other movies, like Scream, for example. In this one, though, the subject is so outlandish that even the prodding the movie gives itself can't make it forgivable. You have to buy into a lot of insane stuff before you can even begin to get sucked into the story. In some movies, such a leap of faith is easy to make and the movie is thoroughly entertaining. Not many people question the rationality of Star Wars because the movies make their universe believable. Lady In The Water's universe is so confusing and muddled that it's distracting and the viewer spends more time calling it out than getting involved.
There are times when I found myself laughing and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to or not. The scenes play out as completely serious, but it's hard to believe that anyone could have written such scenes and intended them to be taken seriously. It's impossible not to laugh at dialogue that includes creatures such as narfs and scrunts.
Ultimately, I would call the movie confusing. It doesn't know what it's supposed to be, so the audience is left even more clueless.