I was first made aware of Dream House in a trailer proceeding the stylish and compelling trailer for David Fincher’s remake for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Both films star Daniel Craig but while one trailer was the pinnacle for intrigue, the other looked more like cheesy amateur hour. Unfortuantely the Dream House trailer was for the latter film. Ultimately, Dream House isn’t as cheesy as it is just rather dull. It starts off feeling like a haunted house story and then descends into something vaguely reminiscent of the psychological thrills behind Fight Club or Shutter Island but fails miserably to get near such heights due to some uninspired directing and cardboard characters.
Dream House is the story of Will, married to wife, Libby (Rachael Weisz) with their two kids in a new ‘dream house’ which they soon realize has a dark past. I won’t give away much beyond that (although the trailer doesn’t seem too bothered) but it quickly cycles into something predictably psychological, with every twist and turn telegraphed a mile away. The movie is filmed without any directorial genius (a surprise from Jim Sheridan, the man behind 50 Cent’s showcase Get Rich or Die Tryin’) to try and elevate this twisted psychological predicament. In the end everyone involved seems rather reluctant to see through the project, but realize they have to scrape by.
If I was to give it any credit then at least the plot tries to do something mildly interesting even if it fails to deliver more than an untidy and underwhelming conclusion. Throughout the whole film I felt this could come together to form something half decent but in the end it spiraled into tired ridiculousness. Ok, so the very end is open ended enough to leave you thinking for maybe 10 seconds, until you realize you really don’t care enough about anything that came before and you move along with your day.
Following on from Cowboys & Aliens, Craig hasn’t half made a couple stinkers lately. Here’s hoping the aforementioned The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the next Bond installment can make up for it.
Dream House is out now in the UK. Running time: 92 mins. Certificate 15 (UK).
Comments and feedback are always welcome or just give the film a rating by using the stars at the top.
Review by David Rank