Sunday 8 July 2012

Dream House (2011) - Jim Sheridan

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are one of the hottest couples in Hollywood and it's on the set of Dream House that they met.  Yet if their lives turn out anything like this nightmare, their relationship and their careers will be dead.

Sheridan's film is a psychological thriller that's neither thrilling nor thought-provoking.  Will Atenton (Craig) is a hard-working editor who quits his job in order to spend more time with his wife (Weisz) and daughters in their newly bought idyllic home on the outskirts of New York.  Yet the family are haunted by a brutal murder that occurred in the property before their arrival.  Clearly, this is not the dream home they'd hoped for.  Where are Kirsty and Phil when you need them?

As expected, the plot hinges on a twist - a twist that is effortlessly predicted within the first few minutes.  It's neither clever nor original.  Simply pay attention to the (not so) cryptic script and prepare to be disappointed.  By blowing its load too early, the second half of the film has the potential for exploring the effects of psychotic trauma.  The narrative does offer some psychological catharsis, but focuses predominantly on the events of the murder - events that are about as dramatic as Eastenders.  The film's denouement is far-fetched and poorly explained, ending with a slushy conclusion that will leave you dissatisfied.

Craig and Weisz certainly show some chemistry in the film's early portion, but it's not enough to sustain the flimsy narrative.  These two talented actors deserve to work together on a more intelligent script.  Let's hope their marriage fairs better.