Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Jim Sheridan
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
After avoiding Dream House like a hooker with herpes, I caved on a lonesome Sunday evening. I wasn’t doing a damn thing with my time, so why not extend a film I’d condemned a chance to change my mind? Why did I condemn it, you chime in? Because the trailers look unbelievably revealing, spoiling the entire twist of the film. Or so it seemed. While I still feel the promotional vids are a bit too exposing, it turns out there’s a lot more to this film that initially meets the eye. But who could have predicted that after such flabbergasting trailers surfaced? And who was expecting a quality pic after Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and director Jim Sheridan absolutely refused to promote the feature? These are the three focal figures that push the vehicle forward, and they wanted absolutely nothing to do with this film.
I think it was safe to anticipate a clunker.
Here’s the kicker: Dream House isn’t a dud. Make no mistake, this isn’t a masterpiece, and you’re not going to rush to type mom a nice letter telling her all about this life changing film, but you may be quite surprised by the final product. While the trailers were indeed a bit too revealing, they’re not remotely near as damaging as it seemed upon arrival.The trailers do in fact spoil one of the picture’s big twists, but there’s another waiting to be discovered, and it’s a decent spin on the expected. It’s well-acted, and the cinematography, while basic, is quite clean. Even the story – the biggest question mark heading in – is engaging enough to hold the attention for 90 minutes, absolutely no problem.
Check out the gist: Will Atenton is a businessman who recently moved from the big city to a small, quasi-rural new abode with his wife and two daughters. Things feel picturesque, until sightings of a man stalking the house begin. Strange behavior from neighbors has Will at unease. After learning that a family was killed in the home some five years prior, it starts to make sense. Until Will begins investigating the terrible crime, unearthing answers that he most certainly doesn’t want to hear. What ensues is a mission to reveal the actual truth. Who was the family, who killed them, and what was the motive?
That’s all I can say without completely killing the flick. And I don’t want to do that, because believe it or not, I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. It’s far more entertaining than a majority of the genre films that hit the market today, and there’s something about the atmosphere that really had my undivided attention. To sum it up, it’s a piece that’s adopted a reputation it doesn’t truly deserve. I’m not even entirely certain why every major figure involved refused to back the movie. What I am certain of is that Dream House is well worth a watch. There are a few eerie moments in the pic, and as noted, it looks great and moves along at a steady, satisfying pace. I approached this one with my expectations in the toilet and walked away with an upbeat assessment and a grin on my face.