Jim Sheridan’s Dream House is not a good movie, though I question if it’s really as bad as it is being claimed. Maybe I’m hard-pressed to buy into the idea that this is worse than, let’s say, Straw Dogs and I Don’t Know How She Does It. In fact, I know it’s not. Or maybe I’m just tired of reviewers and fans who think that the twist ending was invented by M. Night Shyamalan with The Sixth Sense in 1999. (It wasn’t.) Whatever the case, I want to defend Dream House, but it’s just, well, kind of indefensible. There’s all manner of hoo-ha over the film having been taken away from director Jim Sheridan, and Sheridan virtually disowned what was released, as did stars Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. But it’s also hard to believe that the story was ever all that good. The film puts forth a scenario that has editor William Atenton (Craig) quitting his job at a publishing house to live with wife Libby (Weisz) and their two children in their new Connecticut home where he plans to write “that book.” Ah, but you see, the house has a history involving the murder of a woman and her two children possibly committed by her husband. And pseudo-spooky stuff starts happening, which in turn leads to William investigating matters, only to find the shocking first twist. At that point, the film loses its minor horror-movie cred to become a psychological thriller trying to make sense of the whole mess. There are some interesting things in the second half, but the film can’t leave well enough alone and insists on trying to tie the whole thing up with a solution that’s both unbelievable and obvious. The presence of name actors we’ve scarcely seen means they have to somehow figure into the solution. And, boy, do they ever. It may never make much sense, but they’re there. I can say no more, but I will note that you probably don’t want to see this.
Director: Jim Sheridan
Writer: David Loucka
Producer: Daniel Bobker, Ehren Kruger, David C. Robinson and James G. Robinson
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marton Csokas, Claire Geare, Taylor Geare, Rachel G. Fox, Mark Wilson, Jonathan Potts and Lynne Griffin