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Dream House

by

Jeff Nelson

Dream House is one of the worst movies to come out in 2011, avoid this one.

Dream House
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The film Dream House has quite a few talented people involved. Director Jim Sheridan is a six-time Oscar nominee. After it was taken out of his hands and was heavily edited, Sheridan requested for his name to be taken off of the final product. Even two big name stars in the film, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, stuck by his side. This all by itself should prove that this would not turn out very well. This is the exact reason why I avoided Dream House like the plague when it was released in theaters. Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts are very talented actors and Jim Sheridan is a skillful director, although this was sure to be a misfire. Even the theatrical trailer had me scratching my head since it clearly states the mid-movie twist, which sort of eliminates any desire to check it out. To put it simply, this is one of the worst movies of 2011. I'm surprised that I didn't turn this one off halfway through, but I stuck through it.

Will Atenton is a successful businessman who forsakes New York City for the rural pleasures of New England. He soon discovers that the tranquil abode he's moved into was the scene of an as-ye-unsolved multiple homicide. Drawn reluctantly into the mystery surrounding the tragic events, Will and his wife soon begin finding plenty of reasons to worry about their own safety. Even direct-to-video disasters can't quite prepare you for this one. The way that this story unfolds, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Director Sheridan didn't have any say in the matter. Dream House begins and flows just like any poorly written, predictable, and dull flick. However, once the obvious 'twists' start being revealed, the movie goes even more downhill from there. None of the buildup to these revelations are even satisfactory. A lot of the dialogue comes across as very lazy as if it was all taken word-for-word from the first draft. To be honest, this one is a bit difficult to classify under a specific genre. This certainly isn't a horror film. It isn't thrilling enough to be a thriller and the mystery was all taken out by the trailer, leaving us with a flick where every turn is known. All of the characters are one-dimensional and our leading role won't draw an ounce of sympathy from the audience. Everything in this movie feels so disconnected that it appears as if a tornado hit this movie and none of the producers tried to genuinely put this one together in order to make something of value. What we ultimately have is an absolute disaster of a script. My solution to have solved this issue would have been to burn the script in the beginning.

Not only do we have a very well-known and talented director, but also a very famous and skillful cast. Daniel Craig plays Will Atenton. He has proven to be a solid actor in movies such as Casino Royale and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). All of the passion that we're so used to seeing him utilize in his roles is absolutely absent here. Naomi Watts performs as Will's neighbor and friend. Both her character and the performance feel like such a waste of space. I'm a fan of Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz, but she also suffers here for the same reason as Craig and Watts. All three of these actors are fantastic in other films, but this is just an utter uninspired mess. However, the cast didn't have much to work with due to the fact that the script is such garbage. It's such a shame that this cast couldn't have starred in something worth our time. I would like to see them all together in a movie with a well-written screenplay. I have a feeling that they could really create something special if they were given the correct material.

The visuals are about as thrilling as the story itself. There are a few cheap scares as it attempts to make us jump. However, none of them are effective. There was a grand opportunity to create a genuinely eerie house, instead we have an average home that appears very average. There's some digital effects during the house's transformation, as shown in the trailer, that's very iffy. Even thought he script is junk, I would have expected for some strong visuals. These are nowhere to be found. If you get terrified by a tree branch hitting a window, then be prepared to be scared out of your seat. The audio transfer is decent. While it isn't reference quality, it certainly works. We hear every horrible word of dialogue with a lot of clarity. The subwoofer and surround speakers become heavily active towards the end of the movie. Otherwise, the movie primarily uses the center speaker for dialogue and doesn't move around too much. The audio track doesn't disappoint.

After witnessing this disaster, I can see why Director Jim Sheridan would want his name removed from this version of the film. Even the actors kept themselves away from this movie. After all, I don't see who would be proud of such trash. Some critics all The Thing (2011) a horrible film? I wasn't very pleased with that prequel, but Dream House makes that movie fantastic by comparison. This contains a very uninspired story with very disappointing twists. There's so much talent involved here, but it's destroyed by the script and the final editing. I heard how horrible this movie is, although my curiosity got the best of me as I wanted to see just how bad it really was. Well, it's just as bad as everybody is saying it is. Dream House is one of the worst movies to come out in 2011, avoid this one.

My Rating = One Star

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