October 6, 2011
I have been waiting a long time for a good horror film. So far, I was not satisfied with any of the horror films released this year, like "Insidious" or "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark." Then quietly, ads for this film starring an A-list cast composed of Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts comes along and my hopes were lifted. The intriguing poster of Craig about to open a door with his family's faces reflected on the knob added to the appeal. TI decided that this is a movie I should watch on the big screen.
"Dream House" is the story of Will Arterton (Daniel Craig), who gives up a successful job in the big city, to move out and live in his suburban "dream house" with his beautiful wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two adorable little duaghters. Later on, Will discovers the terrible history of his new house, about a family who were murdered several years before. I will stop the story description right there. Critical revelations will be made midway through the film that will would be better appreciated while actually watching it. Weird though that the trailer (which I watched after the movie) actually spoiled the plot!
It is refreshing to see Daniel Craig in a vulnerable role after knowing him more as James Bond. I have to admit that he and Rachel Weisz look good together as husband and wife. I guessed that this was the film that drew them together in real life. They also had good chemistry with the girls who played their daughters. The both of them do very well as tormented parents, particularly Craig. The rest of the cast, including Naomi Watts and Elias Koteas had rather thankless and purposely confusing roles.
I was surprised to see Jim Sheridan (who directed Irish-themed movies like "My Left Foot" and "In The Name of the Father" back in the day) at the helm of this film. The ads for the film, then treatment and execution of the first half, were deceptive. Comparisons with "The Sixth Sense" or "Shutter Island" are inevitable, but "Dream House" pales beside those two screen classics. "Dream House" was a watchable movie, but again, I was disappointed that this did not really turn out to be the horror film I was expecting.