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|Index||27 reviews in total|
This film is a fresh, entertaining, stylish and beautifully staged gore
fest. The bloody mainframe of the film's structure is accompanied by an
interesting side-story that serves to justify all the bloodshed and
also to provide some social commentary, but all this is secondary to
the rivers of blood. And God saw it was good.
Ho-Cheung Pang's "Dream Home" proves that well-made genre pictures satisfy a basic human need: they can focus our attention, for a while, to a sequence of events that entertains because we know, roughly speaking, what to expect, what kind of experiences are in store for us. Well, Dream House is an honest splatter. Victims are lined up to be slaughtered in the most inventive ways for our viewing pleasure. But the film also has elements of human drama, and these two aspects - gore and drama - play each other in and out very well. The overall result is an impeccably paced, brutal but surprisingly uplifting story, beautifully shot against the backdrop of Hong Kong's endless arrays of high-rises and apartment blocks.
The main character, played by an air of focused innocence by Josie Ho, has been saving up to buy an apartment with a nice seaside view, and she is working very hard to realize her dreams. Then things don't go exactly as planned. Lots of drama ensues. People die. Blood is spilled.
There is nothing much more to the plot than a general arch to justify the gore, but it all works out very well, and doesn't feel dragged out or phony or needlessly second-rate; in fact, the acting in this film is actually quite good for the most part, with the exception of the actress who plays the main heroine: she is VERY good. In addition to the action, there is some merit to the drama itself. It carries some weight, or, at any rate, enough to make the film seem interesting all the while. None of the social commentary is especially realistic or intelligent, but the splatter format can function as a kind of primal scream therapy, and thus bring some aspects of our repressed social anxieties to the bloody daylight.
Finally, one aspect of the film deserves special attention: the cinematography, editing and directing. The shots are beautiful, symmetrical, rich in detail. Whether inside or outside, the camera captures some beautiful scenes (and, let us not kid ourselves here, some beautiful people). Each frame could almost work as a photograph; each outdoors vignette of Hong Kong cityscape is hauntingly beautiful; each spewing of blood is swiftly and surgically captured on the screen.
The script is tight and the acting is sufficient. The editing is inventive and the staging rich in detail. Even the drama succeeds in never becoming boring and no single scene, or theme, overstays its welcome. The director-writer Pang has given us a good splatter film which is also a good film even outside its (criminally under-appreciated and depreciated) genre. I was pleasantly surprised by the craft involved. Did I mention it's also funny? Just wait for the moment when the... oh, never mind, just go see this bloody film already.
Snap judgment: Rivers of blood make for bloody good entertainment.
Cheng Lai-sheung(Josie Ho)is desperate to buy a flat in the famed Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.He works two jobs and is already in debt.Not enough money for her dream home prompts her to spill the blood of the rich."Dream Home" is one hell of a gory slasher.The killings are extremely vicious and insanely bloody.The murderous rampage of the main character leaves nothing to imagination.The cinematography is stylish,the acting is fantastic and the score provide some chills."Dream Home" paints an ugly side of corrupted society with some of the bloodiest murders ever captured on screen.8 blood sprays out of 10.A must-see for horror fans with an iron stomach.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a really good apartment? An apartment you
always dreamed of? Of course not many of us could really afford our
dream home, now could we? So what could we do about it? Other than work
night and day (and the other way around) to really get enough money for
it? Is there anything we can do?
According to the movie there is. But then again, you might not want to try that at (your future?) home. You could call this a social parody I guess and it is very well done. A very wicked sense of humor, great effects and an intercourse that is even more outrageous than the one that can be witnessed in "Hatchet 2" (though I'm pretty sure neither of the filmmakers were aware of that "similarity", maybe still aren't). If you like horror that also has something to say, but can also just be watched as entertainment, this is for you!
I couldn't help but notice that there were some really nice looking
women in this movie and--. What's that you say? Get to the damn review?
What's this film about? Okay, okay.
A woman goes to extreme measures to get her dream home after greedy sellers back out of a deal to sell to her. No doubt she had some inspiration from her childhood when developers were forcing people out of their homes in her neighborhood by using underhanded and criminal tactics. Her tale is told alternating between her murderous present and the years and days leading up to it so that we understand her motivation and see her transformation.
What can I say?
If you're squeamish make sure you eat your lunch AFTER you see this. --But then again, you might not want to eat anything after either. The solution for you may be to avoid this altogether. On the other hand, if gore does not particularly bother you, or you are a gore hound, this is your movie.The instigator of all this horror is a woman who just flipped.
Right after the sellers turned her down, you knew by the way the camera was used to shoot her walking on the street that here was a woman who had just lost everything; she feels numb; she hardly sees, hears, or feels anything around her; her heart's desire (since she was a child) has been snatched from her when she thought it was so close.
Imagine the intensity of the anger and desperation that must eventually have taken hold of her later. First disbelief and hopelessness. Suicidal thoughts might naturally have followed (after all, her dream was dead). This woman however, decided she wasn't going down without a fight. But we saw indications earlier with her father that this woman could be ruthless; that she wasn't so innocent. Still we are not prepared for the "helter skelter" sadistic cruelty she unleashes.
Lastly, let me say that it was hard to feel sympathy for this woman because of her sadism (some of it, it seemed to me, spiteful and gratuitous) towards people who had nothing to do with thwarting her dream except maybe they were able to rent where she wanted to live. So I found I was always rooting for her victims. Sadly, in vain (the bitch is a killing machine). Nice looking woman though and some others as well. If I could manage to take that big-ass knife away from her and all her other implements of terror I think I could.... Okay, okay, I got you. Boloxxxi out. Love.
"Dream Home" has been a title I've been waiting to watch since it's release. Most reviews I had read pinned it as a "darkly hilarious" satirical horror film with high levels of style and gore. The style and gore are there alright, but as far as humor is concerned, I was a little let down. The film does have it's quirks and witty lines, not to mention a few "so-bad-it's-good" effects, but it didn't quite live up to the reputation that I had known it for. That being said, the film is shot beautifully and uses a wide variety of creative shots and transitions. It plays with the time-line well and develops Cheng's character at a very nice pace. Many of the deaths are drawn out and disturbing, which would make this a difficult film to watch if the effects were done with more care. Some over-the-top gore may be humorous to some, but in using characters that the audience can relate to, it is more easily said to be horrific. All in all, though it fell a little short of the hype I've been hearing, "Dream Home" is a must for any Chinese or Asian horror fans!
I sort of see Dream Home as a thinking man's slasher. What I mean by
that is that it's a slasher film with a point, as it contains all the
outlandishly kills from famous slashers like Friday the 13th (it
probably goes further actually) but all the excessive blood and
violence has a point, and a very valid point about the current house
market in Hong Kong. Dream Home is also supposedly based on true
events, I don't know how many of the events are true but I'm guessing
not that many! Still, it illustrates the point of the film further as
the age old issue of money has seriously taken its toll!
Dream Home has an interesting structure which I don't know if it entirely worked. You see it cross cuts from her current murder spree to her past, including early childhood, right up to the events that led her to do it. In its favour it did add a nice layer of mystery to the film, and also helped to balance out the drama-heavy scenes with the horror-heavy scenes, allowing us to take a break from the last gruesome massacre and look forward to how it's all going to pan out! However, I can't help but wonder if the film would've been stronger having the events be shown in chronological order. It may have built the suspense and the final killing spree would've been doubly intense! It certainly worked for May, although the characters were much stronger in that than they are here. It's an interesting thought, but I'm satisfied with the unusual cross-cuts.
Now horror fans are not going to be disappointed with the horror-heavy scenes! Dream Home showcases some of the most inventive kills I've seen on screen for a long time. Some of them are also quite heavy to watch, by that I mean distressing, which makes us feel less empathy for the character, making her well rounded. However, I think there could've been more evidence of her snappy psychological state in the past as she doesn't appear violent until she suddenly snaps. It does seem a bit over the top, but I suppose we can forgive it. There's plenty of blood and not only that, some scenes were actually quite suspenseful and thrilling rather than just a simple slash and dash.
The drama-heavy scenes are also not as boring as I've labelled them. I found it really interesting to find out how she got so fixated on that apartment she wanted, and her journey getting her. They really help to flesh out the character further so we can feel for her and her motives (occasionally). However, I also think that a little background on her victims could've been nice as well, so we get to see them as humans too rather than just prey to feed off! The film is also beautifully shot and directed which I didn't expect. There's some lovely cinematography of the high-rise buildings which could also be metaphorical as it seems so out of her reach!
Dream Home is a highly successful slasher and one that I'd be happy to revisit again. It doesn't hold back and also brings up various themes which have a place in today's society. I really enjoyed its entertaining violence and strong character build-up. You do care what happens to her in the end and it also makes a refreshing change to have a slasher film from the killer's point of view. I'd definitely go and check this one out as it doesn't seem that a lot have!
"Dream House" was somewhat of a great surprise. I love Hong Kong cinema
and watch anything I can get my hands on. Though I wasn't familiar with
"Dream House" prior to finding it by sheer random luck on Amazon, and
decided to get it as it sounded interesting and was at an okay price.
And to make it all the more interesting, then the movie is based on true events that shook Hong Kong, and I got that confirmed from a friend living there, so it wasn't just something that was flaunted in the movie to make it more interesting - there was some truth behind it.
The story in "Dream House" is about Cheng Lai (played by Josie Ho) who has been saving money her entire life to buy her own dream apartment, a home of her own. She is living with her family, which is normal in Hong Kong, up until you get married, usually. Things seem to sort themselves out for her, except that the sellers raise the price, and other people are interested in the one and only specific apartment she wants. Cheng Lai sanity flickers and she is driven to inhuman actions.
"Dream House" was driven by a great story that sweeps you up and takes you along for a great ride. Plus it was really well acted, and it was mostly Josie Ho who pulled the weight. I, personally, do not care much for Eason Chan (playing Siu To) and his acting skills (or lack thereof).
The movie is filmed in a great way that makes it come off as right in your face, almost as if you were right there with the actors. Plus the camera work really helped the movie along as well, especially when Cheng Lai was having a breakdown on the street. That scene was just so amazingly nice.
And as a major plus, for all gorehounds out there, then there is a rather good amount of gore and really good effects in the movie, which makes it well worth checking out for the mayhem alone. I was impressed with some of the scenes. And I will say this, without giving away anything here; the scene with the pregnant tenant and her maid was one of the most brutal and graphically disturbing scenes I have seen in a long, long time. That really got my attention, as I had never expected that kind of graphic violence in this movie.
If you enjoy Hong Kong cinema, then you definitely should treat yourself to this movie, as it is a rather unique addition to the collection of Hong Kong cinema.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must say I discovered this film on Netflix in Canada. I can't believe
how great this film looks and feels. I totally love the girl in this
film. She has dire reasons for her killing of snotty little rich
people, that now reside where she use to live. She does what has to be
done against corporate greed, then she takes matters into her own hands
in order to fulfil a promise.
This woman will do anything to get the job done. We see scenes from her past that make us feel like she has the right to do what she has too, in order to protect her promise. It also gives us a glimpse for us in living North America on how crowded these cities have become.
I find it's an in depth story about the overpopulation of the world today, and gives us a definite feeling that we are running out of room and energy resources to cover the population of today. This film seems to deliver the feeling that this is not a problem of locale, but a global problem. It's a very political thriller filled with indirect underlying statements.
I find this film to be bold, in explaining the problems with too many people living on this planet. It gives us a view of a not so distant future.
In turn this film delivers us great quality, imagination, and most importantly gore with a great well played out story line. I for one don't mind reading subtitles, especially when it comes to a stellar film such as this. I'm really happy I've watched this film.
I'm not looking forward to an Americanized remake, for what do the Hollywood execs know about this problem that Japan and other countries like it face when dealing with mass amounts of population. Unless they base the film with actors from those countries, then I may watch it, but if it's set in New York city or another American city like it, I think that film will lose it's perfection.
I think this film should be rated highly if your into a good story, future circumstances of population overages and so forth. A definite watch if your especially looking for something to sink your teeth into when it comes to malicious gore.
Thanks for reading
Jeffrey J Turner Sarnia Ontario Canada
This movie caught my attention when it was reviewed by a friend of mine
and I decided to give it a go and thankfully I did!!What can be said
about "Dream Home" is that it's a very well done slasher movie with a
fresh approach. I really loved this movie, what can I say! The basic
story is a woman becomes so obsessed with buying a home with a view of
the ocean she will go to any lengths to get that home....
I'm a huge fan of ultra violent horror movies and this one did not let down on that front by any means. But what really got me was the fresh ideas about a slasher/killer in this film. It wasn't the tired "crazed man follows stupid teens to a cabin" crap that gets turned out every week but a look at a seemingly normal person getting so obsessed with a dream that they will do anything and everything in their power to obtain that dream. Her performance was spot on and quite disturbing with kill scenes that made me cringe (which is very hard to do). Seriously, one of the greatest kill scenes I've seen in a movie this year! Do yourself a favor and check this out if you're into the slasher/killer genre. It won't be a waste of your time at the very least and you may just like it, maybe a lot!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I watched this film with relatively low expectations. However I am a
lover of subtitled films and the premise seemed decent enough. I was
instantly drawn into the film from the fairly gruesome opening. The
film follows a young girl who wishes to purchase an apartment in
crowded Hong Kong and will do anything to get the property she desires.
The acting is decent throughout and you feel a certain empathy with the killer even though you know you really shouldn't. The death scenes are extremely gruesome and at times I had to look away but it was was filmed in a beautiful way, a way you rarely if ever get from a Hollywood film. The kill rate quickly escalates but is interspersed with a back story of the killers early life and her motives, which bring a little light relief to the ensuing massacre. The killings themselves though far fetched and bloody are gruesomely enjoyable.
Yes if you wanted you could pick plenty of plot holes but I don't watch films for realism just escapism. The ending for me was low key but extremely effective.
Overall this was a film that was well acted, gory and extremely entertaining throughout. If you like bloody horror and an intelligent script then this is right up your street.
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