Dream House (2011)

dream house poster 2011 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 6/10

Good cast

The movie suffers an identity crisis in what type of film it is

Movie Info

Movie Name: Dream House

Studio: Cliffjack Motion Pictures

Genre(s): Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): September 30, 2011

MPAA Rating: PG-13

dream house daniel craig rachel weisz

I could be pumping out one or two more Bonds right now…

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) has left his high pressure job so he can spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two children Dee Dee and Trish (Claire Geare and Taylor Geare).  Moving into a new home, Will thinks he has the perfect life until he learns the house has a history.  A man named Peter Ward killed his wife and children in the house and due to a technically due to his mental state, Peter is free and open to tormenting Will and his family.  As Will, tries to unravel the mystery of what happened in the home and why his neighbor Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts) seems to be hiding things, the horrifying truth is about to be revealed.

Directed by Jim Sheridan, Dream House is a psychological mystery-thriller.  The movie was released to poor reviews and had a weak box-office return.

dream house naomi watts

What…do I seem coy and mysterious? No reason…

I didn’t have any interest in Dream House.  It looked like a supernatural thriller and the number of supernatural thrillers spiked (and continued) after The Sixth Sense and The Ring.  Thinking it was a horror movie, I watched Dream House…and it wasn’t.  I do think it would have been better if was a horror film instead of a mopey mystery melodrama.

The story has a built in twist that is revealed early in the movie (so the idea of a “twist” is subverted in a sense). Will is Peter, and the world he’s built in his “Dream House” isn’t a reality.  It is revealed rather early into the film after some puzzling moments involving the police and teens breaking into the house, but the reveal doesn’t really shock or surprise you.

It can also be assumed when watching it that Will isn’t the bad guy that the film is making him out to be.  While it would have been more creative and darker if Will was as dark as everyone painted him, the movie goes for innocence and a rosy ending which seems tacked on.   It is dull, boring and predictable.

dream house girls ghosts

If we could have more moments like Will’s visions…then maybe we’d have something

Daniel Craig is a bit different in this role.  He’s not debonair, and he does play creepy well…but the script doesn’t hold up to his performance.  I love Rachel Weisz, and she’s solid as the wife.  Naomi Watts likewise is betrayed by the script which makes her overly mysterious and gives away the faux twist earlier than it should.  The film primarily is set up between these three characters, and it too is a problem since you are supposed to care about the rogue element introduced later in the story…but you don’t.

Dream House is one of those movies that thinks too much of itself.  The story isn’t mysterious or twisting, but it thinks it is.  Instead of developing a story that is unique and interesting, you get rehash of thrillers past.  In a way the story is a ghost story, and the idea of a ghost story that isn’t a ghost story is appealing (look at the novel version of Lovely Bones as an example).  Dream Home instead suffers from an identity crisis that never solves itself and ends up leaving the viewers flat.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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