Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dream House

It's a shame to see Jim Sheridan hit a career low. From his debut in 1989 with My Left Foot to one of his most personal films in 2003 with In America, he has been a favorite of critics, film buffs, and awards organizations for a long time. Then he made Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005) and Brothers (2009) which I've seen worse, but weren't as bottom of the barrel as I heard others make them out to be (more so for Brothers). Sadly, Dream House belongs at the very bottom of the barrel and it shouldn't be a surprise. The film went back for reshoots when it failed miserably with test audiences for its February 2011 release. Pushed back to September, Sheridan was consistently trying to have his name removed from the project due to differences with the studio. I can see why. The film has an extremely weak narrative to it with stale and artificial-sounding dialogue and that's just the beginning of its problems.

Will (Daniel Craig), his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz), and their daughters move into a house which is revealed to have a haunted history. If you watch a trailer you can see what the huge twist of the movie is, but for those that might catch this on a movie channel a few years from now, I'll stop there as who is to say what not knowing about certain reveals would contribute to the first experience. Eventually, the movie just turns into 'how many twists and turns can we throw around to build on what was revealed in the beginning?' The film just plods along, everything about it is telegraphed, and no moment has that strong of an impact compared to say Scorsese's Shutter Island (a similar film in a sense).

The word "thud" is very fitting for this movie. Not just in reference to its box office and critical reaction, but in how it comes across to your psyche after you've finished it.

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