Dream House

With 3 heavy weight names in this movie, you’d expect it to be a blockbuster wouldn’t you? Not the case as it would seem as this movie was panned by critics and audiences stayed away. However it’s not a bad film and you do get some strong acting from the cast but the storyline disappoints. Dream House is  2011 American psychological thriller, that was packaged as a horror film and probably fails due to that, directed by Jim Sheridan  and starring Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Elias Koteas and Marton Csoka.

Will, a writer, & Libby have just moved into a new house & neighbourhood with their two young daughters. The family is very happy there and life is good but soon Will’s children start seeing a man watching the house from the front yard. On investigating Will & Libby discovers that something had happened to the house’s previous owners. A woman named Elizabeth and her daughters Beatrice and Katherine were murdered, and her husband, Peter Ward, was the main suspect because they believed he was the only one at the house during the shooting, but was let off because of lack of evidence. Will believes that Peter Ward is the one stalking outside their house and fears for his family’s safety.

Will’s investigations leads him to a psychiatric hospital where Peter was was committed after being arrested for murdering his family. After some initial hestitations, the doctor who treated Peter Ward shows Will video proof of a startling revelation – Will is in fact Peter Ward! 5 years ago he was brought there and created a new identity for himself in order to cope with the grief of his family’s death. After a long period of treatment, Will was released just a few days prior to the events of the movie. Will is unable to come to grips with this truth and leaves the hospital. It is then revealed to the audiences that what we have seen so far in the movie is all a fantasy in Will/Peter’s mind – when he returns to the house we see it for what it really looks like. Abandoned, broken down and in ruins after being burned. His wife & daughters are no longer alive but live on in his fantasy.

Peter speaks to his neighbour Ann & her daughter Chloe and remembers that the two families used to be friends. Ann believes in his innocence and encourages Peter to live a new life in order to heal himself. After some time Peter goes back to the house.  It was a local man named Boyce, who broke into the house and shot Peter’s wife and daughters. During the struggle Libby accidentally shot Peter while trying to shoot at Boyce and this gave him a chance to get his gun back and kill Libby and the two girls. Peter was then accused of the murders. As Ann joins Peter at his house, they are attacked by Boyce & Ann’s ex-husband Jack and the reason behind the killings are explained. Jack had hired Boyce to kill his wife but the latter had entered the opposite house by mistake. Jack decides to kill Ann and set the house on fire, framing Peter for her murder, and shoots Boyce as punishment for his early failure. However Peter overpowers Jack and saves Ann while a dying Boyce douses Jack in gasoline in revenge for being shot – the two die in the flames.

Ann is reunited with her daughter and Peter says goodbye to the ghosts of his family. He recovers a scrap book he kept in the house and watches the house goes down in flames. We learn that a year later Peter is now living in New York city and is a best selling author after writing a book called ‘Dream House’.

The story is rather lame and it seems derived. However you can’t really blame the actors and I thought that Daniel Craig did deliver a strong performance. The two young girls were good as well. I’d give it a 7 for the acting out of 10.

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