It might boast an impressive cast and a few twists and turns, but Dream House, ironically enough, needed a little work before being put on the market.
The film stars Daniel Craig as a writer who settles into a quaint home with his wife (Rachel Weisz) and two daughters, only to learn that their house was the scene of a horrific crime five years earlier. When strange things start going bump in the night, Craig’s character starts to uncover a connection to the tragic murders and his neighbour (Naomi Watts).
That’s about as much of the plot as can really be revealed, as this is a hard movie to review – or even describe – without revealing too many of its twists and turns (that is of course, unless you’ve already seen the trailer, which gives away most of them).
Technically-speaking, Dream House is visually sound and richly textured in its disparity between the warm hues of the family home and the harsh, snow-ridden world outside – or, at times, the grit and grime of homes that have been overrun with rot and despair.
The film’s cast is its principle strength though. Craig, Weisz and Watts are all skilled actors and keep a lot of the more ridiculous aspects of the story grounded in believable performances.
Craig – often stone-faced and grim, as is his way – even manages to display some warmth and smiles in his role as a loving father, though he gets ample time to stone-face it as well.
Weisz is good as always, making her character stand out as a unique and fully-formed person, while Watts is given a harder task, playing a pivotal character that has to be balanced just right to be believable at all. She almost pulls of that balancing act, but not quite.
There are also a truckload of logical flaws, and plot holes so wide they are nearly impossible not to fall into, reducing Dream House to a movie that is hard to get into – and stay in – despite the talented actors and director working to keep it grounded and engaging.