Synopsis: Some say that all houses have memories. For one man, his home is the place he would kill to forget. Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz star in Dream House, a suspense thriller about a family that unknowingly moves into a home where grisly murders were committed…only to find themselves the killer’s next target.
Successful publisher Will Atenton (Craig) quit a high power job in Manhattan to relocate his wife, Libby (Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived.
When Will investigates, he’s not sure if he’s starting to see ghosts or if the tragic story is just hitting too close to home. His only clues come from Ann Paterson (Watts), a mysterious neighbor who knew those who were shot. And as Will and Ann piece together the haunting puzzle, they must find out who murdered the family in Will’s dream house before he returns to kill again. www.dreamhousemovie.net
Release Date: September 30, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery
Will Atenton has just moved into his Dream House. Will (Daniel Craig, otherwise known as James Bond) quits his job as an editor at a publishing company and joins his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz from The Mummy) and their two daughters at their new suburban home. Not long after they move in, the girls start seeing a strange man outside their window. When Will catches some teenagers holding a seance in his basement, he chases them away, but not before learning that the last family to live in the house was murdered. With the help of a neighbor named Ann (Naomi Watts from The Ring and King Kong), Will is able to find out that the father of the last family shot his wife and two kids, then was committed to a mental asylum. After visiting the asylum, Will is terrified to learn that the killer has been released, and apparently has come back to his old house.
Directed by acclaimed director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father), Dream House does not live up to his reputation. It’s a different type of film than Sheridan is used to making, and it seems a bit out of his comfort zone. The cast is competent, but the story’s pace is off, so the film has trouble getting off the ground.
Dream House has been completely misrepresented in its advertising campaign. From the trailers and posters, it looks like a haunted house horror movie in the vein of The Amityville Horror. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s actually more of a psychological thriller in the style of Shutter Island. Except not done nearly as well. It’s got all the makings of a fright-fest — a murdered family haunting its old house, a killer on the loose stalking the current residents, an asylum full of criminally insane patients — but the film becomes more of a mystery than a horror film, with Will investigating and interrogating his way through his house’s past. Instead of scares and shocks, the movie delivers analysis and revelation. With all the spooky setup, the viewer just wants to be scared – it doesn’t matter if Will solves the mystery or not – the audience just wants something to happen. And not enough happens in Dream House, so all of Will’s work leads to an inevitably unsatisfying conclusion.
Written by David Loucka (The Dream Team, Eddie), Dream House promises twists and turns, and it actually delivers a few. The storyline is very creative, and has a ton of potential. The plot starts strong, but the first twist comes way too early in the film (about halfway through), and the story drags from that point on. There are more twists to come, but they are predictable once the audience knows what’s happening – saving the first big twist for later would give the viewer less time to think and provide more impact to the ending. None of the twists are really jaw-dropping. They’re more head-nodding. And none of the plot points makes the second half of the movie any easier to sit through.
There is nothing scary about Dream House. It feels too familiar to actually be frightening. Even the few little jump shocks are not set up well enough to have any real effect. There could be some really good scares, with the spooky house, the stalker outside and the ghosts inside. However, rather than treat Dream House like a horror film, Sheridan approaches it more like a suspense film, but there’s not enough suspense to set up any real scares. Dream House will not make anyone jump out of their seat, it will not cause any nightmares and it will not follow anyone home from the theater.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Jim SheridanEhren KrugerDavid C. Robinson
- Producer(s): James G. RobinsonDavid Loucka
- Screenwriter(s): Daniel Craig (Will Atenton)Rachel Weisz (Libby Atenton)Naomi Watts (Ann Patterson)
- Story: Maron Csokas (Jack Patterson)
- Cast: Claire Geare (Dee Dee)Talor Geare (Trish)Rachel G. Fox (Chloe Patterson) Glen ScantleburyBarbara TulliverCaleb DeschanelCarol Spier
- Cinematographer: John Debney
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By: Gradient Effects
- Country Of Origin: USA