Dream House… more like Nightmare Movie! *ba dum dum pssh!* We’re here all night folks, be sure to tip your waitress.
No, but seriously, what a bunch of garbage. Dream House is one of those pictures that makes you angry for all of the wrong reasons. There was clearly a competent cast and a more-than-able director – a team which could easily sell any mediocre plot. Something went wrong somewhere… and on a monumental level.
So how bad is it? So bad that director Jim Sheridan famously tried to remove his name from it prior to release. So bad that neither the director nor any of its stars would do press for it. So bad in fact that it’s still sitting at less than 10% on Rotten Tomatoes… and for good reason. Dream House is a disaster – coherent in neither storytelling, theme, or even tone.
Its stars – Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz - try so very hard in Dream House. They try to convince us of their motivations and feelings, as a couple coping with understanding the bad things that begin to happen to them. The actors’ efforts are worthless in a film that doesn’t begin to make any sense at all. While the trailer appears to give much of the plot away – to say ‘there’s more going on here’ is an understatement. The trailer only gives one of the twists away, but never fear they keep coming. The film exhaustively twists and turns beyond any reasonable ability to believe. Thanks to studio tinkering, poor Naomi Watts exists solely to frustrate the viewer by exacerbating every possible plot hole. I began imagining her creepy little son Aiden from The Ring popping up next to her, giving her that “You’re fucking crazy, lady” look. If I was going to continue to watch this contrived drivel… I was going to have some fun with it, dammit.
Ultimately, there’s very little going on here beyond a very special Halloween episode of Law & Order. Dream House even has the ubiquitous, soft-focused, bitter-sweet wrap up at the end – which in my version included Jack McCoy and Lennie Brisco. Jack was grabbing his hat off the rack in his office and espousing his opinion on studio-involved movie-cide. Lennie filled in the ironic & dark humor as the credits rolled, pondering aloud, “Makes ya wonder which was worse? This picture, or the one the studio thought was so bad they had to put it out of its misery?”
If you’re just dying to see what a mess it is, you can see it for yourself on most cable systems’ On-Demand services, or you can even stream it through Universal’s YouTube channel.