A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
Some say that all houses have memories. For one man, his home is the place he would kill to forget. A family unknowingly moves into a home where several grisly murders were committed...only to find themselves the killer's next target. Successful publisher Will Atenton (Craig) quit a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby (Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived. When Will investigates the tragedy, his only lead comes from Ann Paterson (Watts), a neighbor who was close to the family that died. As Will and Ann piece together the disturbing puzzle, they discover that the story of the last man to leave Will's dream house will be just as horrifying to the one who came next. Written by
Was originally rated R by the MPAA for "some violence" but the film was later edited to achieve a PG-13 rating for "violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language." See more »
In the diner where Will is asking the police officers about the murders, the front shot of the officers is flipped as indicated by the text on the menu in the background as well as the seating of the officers switching between shots. That's because it's being seen through the mirror behind the counter at the diner. See more »
Alright, now I want to show you something I showed you earlier. From five years ago.
[plays back CCTV recording showing a violent, crazed man turning to face the camera]
That's not... Peter Ward. That's... that's me.
You lived in this institution for five years, Peter.
No. Um... that's, that's ridiculous. I... I'm not Peter Ward. I'm Will Atenton.
That's the name you gave yourself. W1-1L becomes Will. The numbers 8-10-10 become Atenton. Will Atenton.
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In New York, the successful editor Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits his job in the GPH Publishers to move to the suburb New Ashford and dedicate more time to his beloved wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and his daughters Trish (Taylor Geare) and DeeDee (Claire Geare) and to start writing a novel.
The family is frightened by a stranger watching them through the window and Will decides to investigate and finds teenagers in a satanic cult in his basement. Sooner he discovers that the family man Peter Ward killed his wife and his two daughters in that house five years ago. Will goes to the police but the officers do not give attention to him. He also learns that Peter Ward spent five years in the Greenhaven Psychiatric Hospital but was recently discharged.
Will tries to get more information about the murder with his neighbor on the other side of the street, the divorced Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts), but she refuses to give any information to him. Will decides to go to Greenhaven to get information about Peter Ward and he discloses a dark secret about the former intern that will affect his life in his dream house.
"Dream House" is a good mystery that deserved a better screenplay. The story has a great potential and a surprising plot point but does not develop well important characters and situations after the revelation of the mystery. Usually this type of twist happens in the end, like in "The Others", or "Ghost", or "Identity", or "The Sixty Sense". In "Dream House', the mystery is disclosed too early and the last twist is very weak and predictable. But anyway I liked this film.
Daniel Craig is one of my favorite contemporary actors and Rachel Weisz is impressively gorgeous. Naomi Watts is effective, as usual, and the relationship of Ann with her husband deserved a better development. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "A Casa dos Sonhos" ("The Dream House")
Note: On 31 March 2012, I saw this film again on Blu-Ray.
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