There is a saying that a man’s home is his castle. Others say that every house has its own memories. In this psychological thriller, the castle has memories that aren’t of the type anyone would ask for. In fact, this home is the place where one man would be willing to to kill to forget.
The Atenton family moves into a home in a small New England town. It’s quiet, away from the big New York City hub-bub that successful editor Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) faces every day, and seems the idyllic fixer-upper. His wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two young girls are excited when Will comes home to announce he has quit his job and has decided to write a book. The family begins to settle in to their new home, repairing and decorating it, as Will spends as much time as he can working.
In a chance meeting, Will views a disagreement between a man and woman (neighbors who live across the street from him) and the custody of their teenage daughter. Mr. Paterson (Marton Csokas) grabs his daughter, Chloe (Rachel Fox), and sneers at Will as he peels away in his SUV. Will notices that the woman left behind is staring at him and wonders what is going on.
Soon, Ann Paterson (Naomi Watts) becomes not only Will’s best chance at figuring out what happened when several murders were committed in his home, the reasons why no one will help him and his family, but also at trying to understand who is watching him and his family. The five-year anniversary of the murders is upon them, and Will must struggle with his own demons to put together a disturbing puzzle. Could the man who killed his wife and daughters five years prior, the last man who left that house, be as horrifying as the one who came next?
Examiner Rating: 3
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are great actors with good chemistry (and are married in real life), but the switch-up scenes and cutaways leave you wondering what is real and what is not. This could be part of the appeal, but at times I found it oddly confusing. It seemed to take away from the thrills that could have been verifiably disturbing in many cases. Is it a haunted house or ghost story? Is it a look into a troubled life, past or present? You’ll have to decide. You won’t have to worry about watching this movie with the lights out, however. And you won’t choke on your popcorn.
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Mystery
Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language.
Family viewing guide: This movie is appropriately rated by the MPAA. The intimacy between a man and wife contribute to the ‘some sexuality’ tag, but partial nudity and an implication of sexual relations is what remains from a brief scene. Profanity, overall, is not a predominant part of this film, although a couple scenes elicit a strong verbal outburst. Violence is a strong theme throughout – including home invasion, terror, stalking, arson, graffiti, innapropriate teenage usage of another person’s home, the use of guns and knives, children in fright and several scenes of death. Alcohol consumption is implied in two scenes, but never shown. One brief scene shows a person smoking cigarettes.
Director: Jim Sheridan
Writer: David Loucka (screenplay)
- Cliffjack Motion Pictures
- Morgan Creek Productions
Distributed By: Universal Pictures (2011) (USA)
Where to find ‘Dream House’: Redbox is renting the Blu-ray version of this movie in their kiosks locally. Prairie Video LLC (abbreviated Prairie Video) is renting the DVD version in their kiosks, but make sure you check your nearest location because they do not guarantee that it will be available at all locations. Blockbuster.com is providing this film in DVD, Wide-screen DVD and in Blu-ray versions. They are selling a 2-disk (with digital copy) Blu-ray/DVD version as well for $27.99. On-Demand rental and purchase are also available. DVD – average retail price locally: $16.96. Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy – average retail price locally: $29.96Local video retail rental outlets like Family Video have several copies in stock of this movie. Rental prices vary by location.
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This Examiner reviews DVDs that have been released or are soon to be released in the DVD and Blu-Ray format for purchase or rental. This Examiner does not endorse any film company, cast member, movie crews, producers, companies, retail locations and/or rental locations. This Examiner reviews DVD and Blu-Ray movies in the Des Moines, Iowa, market – but the reviews are also relevant to all U.S. locations where these movies can also be rented or purchased.