Dream House review

This movie was unceremoniously dumped in US cinemas without any press screenings and the leads did no publicity for it. Furthermore, the final cut did not reside in director Sheridan's hands and the big plot reveal that occurs 50 minutes in was featured in the trailer. Why the lack of faith in it? It certainly starts off well.

Craig is stalwart as Will Atenton, who gives up his plush publishing job to spend more time with his family in the new home they've just moved into, far away from the city. His wife Libby (Weisz) is loving and attentive – hardly a stretch for her as the couple were married a year after shooting. Their two daughters played by the Geare twins are adorable but their new abode has an unhappy history. Five years previously, the occupant Peter Ward murdered his wife and daughters there. Now recently released from care, he is on the loose again. Is he the frightening individual that is stalking their house? Can shady neighbour Ann Paterson (Watts) provide any clues? Not much as she is having trouble with her nasty ex husband (Csokas) over custody of their teenage daughter (Fox).

Once the major plot twist kicks in the film changes gear but not necessarily for the better. If you've not seen the trailer then it would be churlish to give away any further details. Suffice to say that for much of the way, Dream House is an efficiently made chiller, competently performed. But Sheridan doesn't bring any real scares or jolts to the proceedings and come the final act, the narrative has nosedived into pure hokum, a silly farrago of confusing plot contrivances that leave one dissatisfied and shaking one's head in puzzlement. Shame,  as it could've been so much better, The climax reeks of last minute tampering that renders the movie a complete mess. A good looking dud.

Official Site
Dream House at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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