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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
Director Jim Sheridan fought with Morgan Creek's head Jim Robinson continuously on the set over the shape of the script and the production of the movie. After Sheridan re-shot some scenes because they did not go down well with test audiences, Morgan Creek took away the film from Sheridan's hands to re-cut it themselves. As a result, they created the trailer which many felt gave away too many of the movie's secrets. As a result, Sheridan, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz refused to promote the film to the press. See more »
When Will is following the footprints outside the house, the string on the left hand side of his hoodie pops in and out between shots. 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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Editor and author Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits a high power job in Manhattan to relocate with his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town. However, as they settle into their new life, they discover that their house was the murder scene of a mother and her two children. Will tries to befriend his neighbour Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts) and find out from her what happened but she is not too eager to talk.
Meanwhile, Will's younger daughter starts seeing someone lurking outside the window at night. As Will pieces together the haunting puzzle, he must find out who murdered the family in his dream house before the culprit returns to kill again.
"Dream House" is not a suspense thriller that will jolt you with sudden loud music and cheap scares. Instead, it plays games with your mind, keeping you guessing about what's happening and making you sort out the plot yourself. Now, if you like your thrillers done this way, then go for it. If not, this one is going to be a nightmare...
Director Jim Sheridan's plot build-up is almost by-the-book and he makes no apology for it. The opening scenes show Will as a devoted father and loving husband. At first, his daughter's visions of a shadowy figure are dismissed quietly, but when Will gets physical evidence of someone lurking around, our curiosity heightens. Sheridan, who gave us "My Left Foot" and "In The Name of The Father", is not delivering this thriller to his audience in a platter. He just dishes out the cards and lets his audience sort them out - at least until the closing sequences.
At first, it feels rather weird to see beefcake Craig as a domesticated guy. However, there is a good chemistry between he and Weisz who also lends a loving and tender touch to the proceedings. The kids, played by Claire and Taylor Geare, are also convincing and adorable. It would have been great to see more of Naomi Watts but her role is rather limited - and she acquits herself professionally. Fans of Rachel G. Fox, the Scarvo girl in TV's Desperate Housewives, will find her in a cameo as Ann's daughter Chloe. All in all, a thriller for the thinking viewer.
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