Dream House Review
by Bret Dorman
I’ve been pretty verbal on our podcast about my distaste for the Dream House trailer.
It’s really loud. It doesn’t look scary. And 3/4 the way into the movie they reveal a twist that Daniel Craig is the killer of his own family!!! (but not really)
I knew this movie was going to be bad… but I just didn’t know how bad.
The Story: Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) comes home one day and discovers his wife (Rachel Weisz) and girls are ghosts!!! Like, Zoinks! Then he discovers the killers name is Peter Ward. Then he discovers HE is Peter Ward. Jinkies! Then he discovers his neighbor lady (Naomi Watts) is pretty. Then there’s an ULTRA TWIST ending!!! Also, I now have a craving for Scooby Snacks.
It’s amazing to me that the people who made the preview for this movie revealed a major plot twist halfway in the trailer. Did they hope that by revealing one twist you wouldn’t see the ‘ULTRA TWIST!!!’ coming? Or did they secretly hope that by revealing one of the movie’s secrets that audiences would assume there is nothing more to the movie, then not go see it, thus saving them the ten bucks and two hours?
I wonder how many people actively avoid trailers like me? I try to avoid trailers or interviews or anything movie related before a movie comes out… but only for movies I know I would have wanted to see anyway and will probably like. I wonder how many people just wandered into this movie knowing nothing about it?
The point is, halfway in the trailer they reveal that the main character is the crazy character who killed his own family. The use of ‘names’ (Will A-TEN!-TEN!) and ‘fake/pretend life’ (fake coworkers in fake flashbacks being insane asylum guards) is so absurd it makes The Number 23 look like Se7en.
The entire first half I’m just waiting for the twist. Nothing in the movie is compelling enough to make me care about what is going on and since I know it is all about to go topsy-turvy why invest my precious emotions? Then… the big crime… after the twist is revealed… nothing changes! Peter-Will-Ward still loves his family and even though he knows they are dead treats them like they are alive. He even has a big goodbye to them where his wife is freaking out about the children and they die again in front of his eyes. It’s very boring- er, I mean sad. The next scene he treats them like they are alive. It is at this point I realize no one making this movie realized what was going on or cared.
This movie suffers from an extreme case of bland-ism. It is a ghost movie where none of the ghosts are scary. It is a plot-twisty movie where most of the twist are spelled out for you or out-right given in the trailer, it is a weird mistaken-identity/revenge thriller with the LAMEST motivations and mistake, it is a psycho killer movie where the ‘supposed’ psycho killer’s biggest problem is a couple of dirty looks from people, it is a family drama with no drama. Nothing happens. Nothing.
THE ULTRA TWIST!!! So any normal movie going person would know that Peter-Will-Ward really didn’t kill his family. In the preview they awkwardly highlight that part where he gets off the train and that other guy gets on the train. In the movie they awkwardly linger on this too. I wonder if THAT GUY DID IT?!
It’s not that I am always and constantly looking to outsmart movies and try to guess the endings before they happen. I feel that if you do that you would lose out on what’s happening in the current scenes. But some movies are so boring they make it easy to wander ahead. And this movie’s whole purpose is to pull one over on the audience.
And so by the end of the movie when you know who killed the family and that there’s no way Peter-Will-Ward did it and you get the big reveal… it’s not like a magician letting you in on the trick making you go “ohhhhh!” it’s more like a slap in the face making you go “ow!”
Really? The neighbor guy was so mad at his wife for some thing that he hired someone to kill her and that guy simply got the wrong house? That’s the big twist? And you’re going to drudge through what feels like 5 long, excrutiating hours of boring and ‘I love my ghost family!’ for that? Ugh…
In Conclusion, there is nothing redeemable about this movie. Dream House has no purpose. It’s not entertaining. It’s not tricky and cool. It’s not engaging on any level. It’s a crappy loud horror movie that is really a family drama that has a revenge element. But there are no scares, drama, violence, or tension. It’s a waste.
Final Grade: F