Friday, September 30, 2011

Dream House = Stale Bread, No Butter

DREAM HOUSE
Directed by JIM SHERIDAN
Starring DANIEL CRAIG, RACHEL WEISZ, ELIAS KOTEAS, 
MARTON CSOKAS, and NAOMI WATTS

Dream House was released to the critics only a few hours before it's midnight release. Let it be known that this is never a good sign. It is particularly not a good sign with regard to Dream House. Indeed Dream House has all of the markings of a bad movie: slow-moving, predictable, and unimaginative. The trailer is more interesting than the entire film and remarkably the trailer gives away the most interesting thing this movie had going for it, the plot twist. Imagine the trailer for The Sixth Sense revealing to the audience that Bruce Willis' character was indeed dead? Ergo, Dream House.

Despite the marketing mishaps, Dream House tries very hard to be a haunted house film and it starts as most haunted house films do: the main characters move to a house in Connecticut. How many horror movies start when the main characters move to a house in New England? A lot.

Dream House sets the stage well, but quickly descends into absurdity when it attempts to imitate a much better haunted house film from 2001, The Others. However, The Others, unlike Dream House, was genuinely suspenseful, intriguing, and dramatic.

Dream House starts when Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits his demanding job as a publisher in New York and moves to the country with his beautiful wife, Libby (played by Craig's real-life wife Rachel Weisz) and two young children. Will has great dreams of writing a novel. Regrettably the peace of the countryside is not meant to be. Will and his family are routinely harassed by trespassers, nosy neighbors, and strange happenings, which make no sense to Will and even less sense to the audience. The couple soon learns that their home has been the scene of a terrible crime, claiming the life of a mother and her children. What follows is a senseless ride down a predictable rabbit hole, as Will tries to unravel the mystery of the killer and the victims.

On a positive note, Dream House is a good looking film and director Jim Sheridan is clearly a talented director. Sheridan previously directed the Oscar-winning My Left Foot and the indie hit In America, which makes the awfulness of Dream House surprising. The other redeemable feature of this film is the cast. The cast is top-notch and also includes Naomi WattsElias Koteas, and Marton Csokas in near invisible supporting roles. If you want to see a half-way decent haunted house flick still in theaters, skip Dream House and go see Don't be Afraid of the Dark instead. If you're still curious wait for it to come out on DVD.

ONE -1/2 STARS OUT OF FIVE

11 comments:

  1. I saw it's at 0% on Rotten Tomatoes...

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  2. Wow... Thanks for the warning. I will definitely not be seeing this one. I'm sorry you had to pay good money for this.

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  3. The trailer and the talent involved made it look promising. But I've heard stories of studio meddling.

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  4. Scrivo in italiano, come mi chiedevi. :)
    Letta la recensione. Sembra davvero un film pieno di cliché, ed in più riproposti senza personalità! Nulla di nuovo insomma. Purtroppo, i pregi che hai descritto non bastano per renderlo migliore; peccato.

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  5. I heard the same from a friend, and it's too bad because it looked a bit promising.

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  6. @Alex-- Yep, I wonder if it's gone up any? I'm sure it has. 0% is really hard to get.

    @Melissa-- Yes, please don't see it. If I had paid to see it I would be really mad.

    @Film Geek-- I completely agree. Something happened on this film. One could tell that it could have been good, but something went wrong. I think the studio definitely meddled...to it's detriment.

    @occhio sulle espressioni-- Ciao. Così vero. La cosa più personaility non è nuova. Sto cercando di praticare il mio italiano, ma sarò felice di parlare inglese con voi. In realtà a volte è più facile quando mi risponde. Ma posso fare quello che preferite:)

    @A-- It really was promising. I had high hopes and I was excited to see it. One could tell that the director was talented so I'm not sure what happened.

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  7. Preferisco in italiano, sai scrivere bene! :)

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  8. Lol! I love how straight to the point you are! :P

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  9. @Occhio-- Grazie! Che mi darà la possibilità di praticare. Tuttavia, se si vuole praticare l'inglese me lo faccia sapere.

    @Damon-- Thanks a bunch.

    @Real Queen-- Ha, thanks. I think I'm a lazy writer. I want to hurry up and get my point across.

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  10. aw man! thanks for the warning! i was thinking about seeing this one. :)

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