Dream House (2011)

When Will (Daniel Craig) decides to quit his job, he and his family move into their ideal home in a quiet New England town. When getting settled in, the family starts to experience strange things happening to them.

Director: Jim Sheridan

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz. Naomi Watts, Elias Koteas, Marton Csokas

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality, and brief strong language.

Fun Fact: Jim Sheridan wanted his name removed due to Morgan Creek Productions making a re-cut of the film.

Here we have another studio and director feud. From what it looks like Jim Sheridan had a vision and the studio had another. Even Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz have nothing to do with this film. With all that does that make Dream House a bad film?

Dream House is an interesting film so to speak. While it’s not a horror film in a way, it has its horror elements to it. While viewing this film, I could see the influences of The Shining and The Others to it. It has an interesting premise to it and it feels like a haunted house film. I love those types of films but, sadly we don’t really get to see much, The runtime for this film clocks under 90 minutes. To me that felt just too short and I wanted to see more and you must sacrifice setup time to get to the end of the film. If the scenes were a few minutes longer, we would’ve had something even more interesting. That was probably due to the studio taking it and doing a re-cut. This makes me want to see a director’s cut of the film. That would be interesting to see what Jim Sheridan wanted to bring to the screen.

While a film suffers from a short runtime, things feel rushed. There is a twist in this film that happens at the halfway mark. I won’t spoil it but, wouldn’t you think that was a little too fast? If the studio let it run longer I think the payoff of the twist would’ve been rewarding. I was shocked that it came that quick and a little out of nowhere. The thing about it is that the twist works and for me being surprised is exactly what needs to happen. We get most of the screen time setting up the family with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz which gets us interested in those characters. What we don’t get is development of Naomi Watts’ character. She doesn’t have much time on screen and while she has an interesting sub plot to her, we don’t see much of it.

Speaking of the acting, for what we get is decent. Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are good together and I enjoyed their chemistry. The interesting thing about them working together is they got married. I’m not the biggest Daniel Craig fan but after seeing this, he is growing on me that I want to give his films another shot. I wish that Naomi Watts had more screen time. I enjoy her films and it’s disappointing that she doesn’t get much development for her character to the short run time.

Overall, Dream House is interesting but, could be so much better. The biggest flaw is that it’s too short. If the studio stayed out of the production then the film then the film would’ve been better. It has an interesting set up but, once again the lack of time doesn’t help it. While not a terrible film, Dream House really needs a director’s cut.

Verdict: Middle Ground


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