'Dream House' is a nightmare watch12/04/2012 - 15:51:13
(Cert 15, 88 mins, Thriller/Romance)
Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) is a successful publisher in Manhattan who abandons the city to spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and daughters Dee Dee (Claire Geare) and Trish (Taylor Geare) in the suburbs.
While reconnecting with his family, Will learns that their home was once a murder scene, where a mother and her brood were slain at the hands of a wrathful husband.
Ann Paterson (Naomi Watts) and her teenage daughter Chloe (Rachel G Fox), who live across the street, clearly know something about the horrific case but are reluctant to speak to Will.
Then a mysterious stranger called Boyce (Elias Koteas) begins to spy on the Atentons, compelling Will and Libby to piece together the clues.
Dream House is, alas, more of a nightmare for everyone involved. Jim Sheridan’s suspense film creaks with familiarity, applying the same plot mechanics as Shutter Island and John Carpenter’s The Ward, with similarly lacklustre results.
The inexpressiveness of leading man Craig does the film few favours.
His stricken hero is neither endearing nor sympathetic and we couldn’t care a jot if he unravels the mystery of the previous owners of his New England townhouse, who perished in grisly circumstances.
Weisz and Watts are poorly served, unable to find any emotional depth in their two-dimensional heroines and Koteas’s role is laughably obvious.
The histrionics of the fiery finale don’t make a great deal of sense but since Craig is as wooden as the homestead that conceals so many dark secrets, at least there’s the tantalising possibility of his crusading father going up in flames.
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