Director – Jim Sheridan
Cast – Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Elias Koteas, Marton Csokas, Taylor Gaere, Claire Gaere, Rachel G. Fox, Jane Alexander, Brian Murray
Release Year – 2011
Reviewed by John of the Dead
A boring night lead me to the local “dollar theater” (that charged $1.50 per evening showing) and while I really wanted to see Drive I figured it was about time I give this mostly-horror film a watch for review. I went in expecting mediocre results at best and that is almost what I was given in this silly waste of time, one that I am glad I only spent $1.50 on instead of full price. Now can I have my $1.50 back?
After quitting his job in hopes of spending more time with his young family, Will Atenton(Daniel Craig; Cowboys and Aliens) joins then in a new home purchased in hopes of new beginnings and a published novel. Soon after moving into the home they learn of the dark events that have plagued it for years, but nothing is as it seems in this ever-developing psychological horror/thriller.
Before going into this I had heard of this being a failed attempt at replicating The Sixth Sense, and I can see where those comments arose from. While the storylines are nowhere near the same, Dream House plays on Will Atenton suffering a life-changing revelation when he realizes that the traumatic events that occurred in his “new” home were committed by none other than himself, and that he is not actually Will Atneton, but a killer who escaped charges for the killing of his family. He of course refuses to believe this and the rest of the film follows him as he tries to understand what he has just learned and learn the truth behind what happened, if it even happened at all given he still sees his family every day in his home. I do give props to writer David Loucka for coming up with a fairly complex and always-developing storyline that is fairly unique in its own right, however in all honesty I thought this storyline was too mushy at times. It really felt like there was too much going on for most the film after the revelation was revealed, and from then on out things only become worse in how silly things became. When I say things became silly I REALLY mean things became silly, when was ever-present during the final act where Will’s wife Libby(Rachel Weiss; The Mummy) was speaking riduculous nonsense to him from “the other side”. I was honestly thinking to myself “How on earth can established actors like Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weiss stand to speak such pathetic nonsense?” but I guess that is the price to pay when work is slow and you desire a paycheck.
Director Jim Sheridan did well with this piece, giving us awesome atmosphere and good performances from all of the actors involved. His execution of the film was great, giving us decent tension at times from a storyline that held back the experience from being a worthwhile one. There really is nothing scary about this piece, can frankly I don’t remember it ever claiming to be scary, but nonetheless the filmmakers chose to market this as one and it will be forced to endure the resulting criticism regarding the horror it doesn’t provide. Much like Daniel Craig and Rachel Weiss I was very surprised to see Naomi Watts(The Ring) and and director Jim Sheridan attached to this pathetic effort, and while to their defense it was the storyline that made this such a horrible experience they are still a part it whether they like it or not.
Overall, Dream House is a film you should stay away from due to the extremely silly nonsense brought on by a pathetic storyline that should have stayed on writer David Loucka’s table and not on the silver screen. The performances are good and the direction is positive, but they are nowhere near enough to make this a film worthy of a watch, EVER.