Then there’s Jim Sheridan occupying the director’s chair, he of My Left Foot and In The Name of The Father fame. It emerged though that the respected director was none too pleased with the resultant film – for reasons unknown – and wanted to have his name removed from it. This revelation suggested that all was not well at all in this particular house, and Sheridan was right to want to distance himself from this turgid turkey.
So what’s the story? Craig is the hot shot book editor who moves from the big city to a new house in suburbia only to find his sleep and peace of mind severely interrupted.
Firstly, things start to go bump in the night, then there’s the small matter of the mysterious stranger watching him and his family through the windows, not to mention Watts’s cryptic neighbour who reveals that that a grisly murder in which former resident Peter Ward murdered his own family Jack Torrence-style took place in the very same house that his wife and two young daughters now call home. A little investigative work though reveals that Will and Pete might have something in common…
There’s relatively little surprise to the film’s ‘shock’ revelations – if you think you know what the story’s twist might be then you’re probably right. If you’ve watched a genre movie before, or have even the most passing of interests in film, then this particular type of reveal is essentially a sub-genre in its own right.
This narrative predictability is in itself not fatal but Dream House unfolds en route to said rug-pulling without chills or suspense. If it wasn’t for a handful of run-of-the mill jump shocks to quicken the pulse then there would be little to punctuate the humdrum story or rescue it from pedestrian blandness.
The cast do little to enliven things, and there is too little emotional investment evoked in their characters. Truth be told though, David Loucka’s script gives them little to work with or sink their teeth into. “Some say that all houses have memories,” the movie’s tagline informs us. For all concerned here though, this house is a memory best forgotten.
Good for: Genre diehards only.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts | 18 | 92 mins
Film review: Alasdair Morton
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