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 scene of the murder 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 neighbour 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
The film as 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 »
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 »
There is something wrong with this house.
No, Libby, there isn't. Look, we'll do whatever it takes, okay ? We'll hire a priest.
Hire a priest ? Where do you do that ?
Well, like... oh, a witch doctor, whatever... I don't know. We'll fengshui the place. It's our house. Hmm ? There's joy in this house. There's real joy in this house. You're in it, so...
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First what you should know up front: "Dream House" is not a horror flick. Also it's rated PG-13 which means it's pretty tame (no gore, no explicit violence, etc), so if you're looking for something along the lines of The Exorcist you might wanna stick with The Exorcist.
In lieu of buckets of bile and terrifying demons, we get a really clever and tense story about a family in a remote house slowly uncovering the details of a bizarre unsolved mass murder that happened under their roof 5 years earlier. Strap on your seatbelt because the plot has more twists and turns than the Grand Prix, and there are a few total 180 turnarounds that might lose you if you're not paying attention. But overall I thought it was a great story.
My only criticism is, due to it's somewhat tame PG-13 presentation, the film loses some of its edge. At times it can feel almost like a "family film" which is totally at odds with its otherwise creepy vibe. Imagine if The Exorcist had been directed by Steven Spielberg, and maybe you'll catch my drift. In fact, "Dream House" does indeed have a Spielbergesque quality to it (as in the original "Poltergeist"), which may be to your liking, but for a lot of horror/thriller fans it's too clean and perhaps ties things up in too neat of a bundle in the end.
Acting is great all around, and I have to mention the GREAT job by the 2 sisters (and real life sisters) Taylor Geare and Claire Geare. They were ages 10 and 5 respectively and did a really convincing performance, particularly in a few scenes where they bring out an otherworldly element that's hard to describe.
I recommend this movie for its original story which digs deep into psychology and the twists of the human mind. No chainsaws or blood sucking vampires here, just a really interesting thriller that should captivate any mystery fan.
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