I am told that the trailer for this ghost story / thriller ‘Dream House’ completely ruins this movie for anybody venturing out to see it. I guess I had the good fortune of not seeing the trailer since apparently they didn’t run it on ESPN, The NFL Network or during the MLB playoffs. Just beer commercials and trailers for ‘Real Steel’. So when it came time for the big ‘plot reveal’, one that everybody whose seen the trailer was already aware of, I was able to experience it organically. At the quantum level. The thing about this plot reveal, this Kaiser Soze moment, is that it comes halfway through the movie, which had me thinking what the heck are they going to do for the next hour or so of this movie. As it turns out I don’t think the filmmakers knew what they were going to do either. Far be it from me to tell these highly skilled and talented entertainment professionals how to do their jobs, but I don’t know if that was the right move.
Will Attenton (Daniel Craig) has just retired from his big time editing gig in some big time city to spend some quality time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and their beautiful daughters Trish (Taylor Geare) and Dee Dee (Claire Geare). To facilitate Will’s new dedication to family, he’s brought an old country home for his family to live in, and life could not be any better.
Then the weird stuff starts happening. The girls see people hanging outside the house late at night, or the strange sounds that are kicking around in the house at all times. Turns out the Attenton’s had just purchased the house of the infamous Peter Ward, a man who five years prior murdered his wife and children and was badly wounded in the process as his wife managed to get the gun from him and shoot him in the head before she passed away. Looks like we have an old fashioned haunted house ghost story on our hands. Or not.
You see, that bastard Peter Ward isn’t dead. Naw man… worst still, even though this dude is suspected of slaughtering three people, he’s out of his liberal minded residential halfway house program, and it looks like he intends to cause the Attendon’s some grave
harm. You may ask yourself why a dude, obviously insane and suspected of triple homicide, is walking around the street. Or why is the neighbor across the way, Miss Patterson (Naomi Watts) and her asshole of an ex-husband (Marton Csokas) are always glaring at that house so strangely, or why in the world would a real-estate agent sell somebody a house without mentioning that a horrific murder took place there.
Just know that Will is going to get some answers, and the chances are he’s not going to like them. Chances are that you will not like them either.
So… just for grins and giggles and I took a break from this typo fest to look at the trailer for this movie and… well… I gotta say that’s not too cool. The trailer COMPLETELY gives away the big reveal in the movie. Now I get that this happens halfway through the movie so perhaps the thought process was that they weren’t giving away anything, not really, but I can tell you from my perspective, having not seen this trailer before seeing the movie, that not having this knowledge did make for a much more rewarding cinematic experience. Whoever gave the green light on that cut of the trailer should probably be flogged with a wet spaghetti noodle.
Out of respect for others out there who only watch sports programs and might’ve missed that spoiler killing trailer and will eventually see this movie on HBO or something, I will attempt not give anything away, but the fact remains is that this does leave out half of the movie. And mentioning that missing the trailer made for a more rewarding cinematic experience doesn’t mean that ‘Dream House’ is a good movie, oh hell no, just that watching the trailer before seeing it would’ve made sitting through it almost a complete waste of time. Unless you’re a big fan of Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz.
As a ghost story, ‘Dream House’ looked like it was working from where I was sitting. Jim Sheridan the director clearly knows what he’s doing, the atmosphere was suitably eerie, the mystery that we were working with was being presented in a gripping and intriguing manner and we’ve imported some top-line British actors to Canada to work in this American film.
But then ‘Dream House’ stopped being a ghost story, turning more into a psychological drama. Then it turned back into a ghost story, then it turned into a thriller with explosions before descending into complete and totally absurdity.
And we’re not going to say anymore because unlike those thoughtless cur’s who licensed that trailer, we don’t want to give too much away to anybody wishing to see this flick. We will do this on occasion, but we usually preface that with a bold letter warning the yells out ‘SPOILER ALERT’. They probably should’ve done that for this movie.