Life is what you make it. I recently moved from a quiet town in the country to chase my big city dreams. Nothing ever goes smoothly, nothing is ever what it seems, but everyday I am getting closer. I am yet another slightly less-than-average girl trying to find her way in London, and in life.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Dream House: "There's something wrong with this house."

Last night I made the most of my Orange Wednesdays and caught Dream House at the cinema.  This is just going to be a quick review today as I don't want to give too much away.

Now, I'm going to jump straight in. This film is a complete mind fuck. A la Shutter Island (which Dream House reminded me a lot of) you don't really know what's going on for a good 90% of the film. I happen to like that, but for those of you who don't, I suggest you avoid it like the plague.

On to the film! Please do not read on if you are planning on going to see it as there will be some vague spoilers!

Dream House stars Daniel Craig as Will Atenton, Rachel Weisz as his wife Libby (who I love even more after seeing this film) and their two daughters who move in to their seemingly idyllic new home when Craig quits his high-powered city job to spend more time with the fam.

After moving in to this new house, they find out that it was the scene of a horrific murder where the mother and children were all shot. Yes you might want to brush it off now as the same old Amityville Horror narrative, but please don't. At this point, this film started to grate on me a little as I thought it would just be your usual, predictable slaughter-fest. And lots of things aren't explained and don't make great sense. But stick with it and the big reveal (that oddly comes towards the middle of the film), well, reveals a lot and the start then makes sense. Like the kids hanging out in the basement who claim they didn't know the house was inhabited when the family car is on the drive, at the time it seems ridiculous but it's one of the many nice touches this film has that hints that something's not quite right.

Peter Ward was the only surviving inhabitant and father of the previous family who is thought to have killed his wife and kids. As the Atentons become haunted by strange noises and shadowed figures, Will takes it upon himself to find out what happened. Whilst tracking down Ward, Will makes a discovery that completely changes the direction of the film and it's at this point that Dream House both starts making sense and becomes evermore confusing.

This film has been criticised for being dull and somewhat predictable and I think that's quite unfair. If I had read any reviews before seeing Dream House then I probably wouldn't have bothered going. Sometime's I tend to forget that a review is just someone else's opinion that has no authority over ones own, as I'm so glad I saw it and ended up genuinely enjoying it. Admittedly the characters did more for me than the story, which is down to a great job from our lead actors. But it's because I believed the family relationship, chemistry and sweet connection between Craig and Weisz that ultimately let me invest in the plot and pray for a happy ending which obviously could not happen. However we do get a somewhat bitter sweet finale which is better than nothing for a hopeless romantic like myself.

I even managed to warm to the horrifically annoying Naomi Watts who plays the Atenton's mysterious neighbour. I have nothing generally against her now thinking about it, I guess I just hold a grudge against her from Ned Kelly when she basically sent Heath Ledger off to his death *cry*. That's just something I can't get over.

I saw Dream House with my friend Tom who didn't initially like it as much as I did. He'll have a review up in a few days I'm sure so if you want a different perspective then head over to The Glass Void.

Recommend to a friend? It may not be filled with ingenious plot twists and has received a bashing from critics but I couldn't help but enjoy it. It's not a horror film and the small jump scares are predictable and don't lead anywhere, and the twist when it's revealed kind of makes you scratch your head in a mixture of confusion and disbelief. Saying that, the hour and a half-or-so screen time completely flew by and, as much as I'm ashamed to say, I was fighting back the tears at one point. And I'm sure that doesn't just mean I'm an over-emotional sap that gets far too absorbed in basically any display of affection.


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