Friday, September 30, 2011

DREAM HOUSE

Jim Sheridan, 2011
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marton Csokas

Going to see this film was not the best idea I’ve ever had. I’ve hated every single horror film to come out of Hollywood for at least the last ten years and, if anything, Dream House only intensified that hatred.

Theoretically, the movie should have had a shot. It was helmed by Oscar-nominated Irish director Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) and has a star-studded cast with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz as the lead couple and Naomi Watts and Marton Csokas as their neighbors. These are all capable actors and you would think that if I could handle watching the Vin Diesel vehicle XXX to see Marton Csokas, Dream House would be a walk in the park.

Not to be confused with the superior Korean film Dream Home, the plot vaguely rips off Amityville Horror, The Shining, and A Tale of Two Sisters. The film concerns a publishing exec (Craig) that moves his family to the New England suburbs to spend more time with them. They soon find out that several years ago a man murdered his family in their house. Is the house haunted? Is the killer still on the loose? Do I care?

No, not at all.

Dream House is crippled by its inane premise and the fact that it is a total failure in terms of script-established expectations, and, overall, is a boring mess. The film sadly went the way of one of my favorites, Tinto Brass’s Caligula, where the studio/producer ripped the film out from under the director and created, through the cunning use of bad editing, their own print. Except Dream House lacks the hardcore inserts that at least provide a few moments of stupid entertainment in Caligula.

You know things are bad when the director and stars refuse to do press to protest the lousy editing job the production company did. There wasn’t even a proper press screening. This may be due to the fact that the trailer gives away an important plot twist. Great job, Universal. I hope someone got fired for this.

I want those two hours back.

Dream House opens today in Philly-area theaters.

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