Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dream House

Buyer Beware
Director: Jim Sheridan
Writers: David Loucka
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Elais Koteas, Taylor Geare, Claire Geare

SYNOPSIS: After a family moves into their new house, they soon come to realize that their dream home is not as perfect as they thought after learning that brutal crimes were committed there.

REVIEW: Jim Sheridan, director of such Daniel Day-Lewis films as The Boxer, My Left Foot, and In The Name of the Father, takes on the suspense genre with a screenplay from Eddie and Dream Team scribe David Loucka. Entitled Dream House, the film walks the fine line between the supernatural and madness.

Will Atenton (the newest James Bond Daniel Craig) gives up his editing position at a publishing house to spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachal Weisz from The Mummy trilogy) and two young girls, Trish (Taylor Geare) and Dee Dee (Claire Geare) in their new house. As Will starts work on his novel, Libby renovates and paints the house they now call a home. Soon, though, strange occurrences start, beginning with Dee Dee seeing fuzzy strangers outside the windows, and continuing with a group of goth teenagers partying and vandalizing their cellar with claims that the previous family were all brutally murdered by family's husband and father, Peter Ward. Found discarded in boxes in the cellar, Will finds microfilm from the library outlining Peter Ward's stint in prison, a psychiatric hospital and a halfway house. The more Will tries to uncover the truth about Peter Ward, the more questions he uncovers about Ward an about himself. Even the neighbor across the street, Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts - The Ring), seems to show concern for Will while hiding secrets of her own.

Dream House is both a ghost story, a murder mystery, wrapped in the uncertainty of a man wrestling with his own sanity. The story runs along at a tidy clip, efficient and focused. Wavering between the warm tones of the welcoming fantasy that Will creates for himself and the hard decayed blues of what could be his harsh reality, director Sheridan creates two distinct motifs with the same house - inside and out. Craig is serious and driven, his square jaw and piercing eyes eating up every scene. The rest of the cast, Watts, Weisz and the young Geare girls, weave a solid story. Ann Patterson's ex-husband Jack (Marton Csokas) and seemingly sinister Boyce (Elias Koteas) also prove pivotal participants to the tale.

Dream House is solid storytelling in and of itself, but has shades of other films that have scared us better, provided more suspense, or kept us in the dark as to what is reality and what is fiction. I have seen it all before and better, for the most part anyway. As entertaining and well-crafted as Dream House is, this film may end up in foreclosure.

WORTH: Matinee or Rental

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