‘Dream House’ turns out to be nothing more than a ‘fixer-upper’

Every house has a story. No matter how beautiful it may look on the outside, it may hold a dark secret.  Haunted house movies tend to be pretty fun to watch. Special effects combined with a ghost or a monster equals lots of fun.  Sadly, “Dream House,” has no special effects, and has a limited amount of fun.

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) and his wife Libby, (Rachel Weisz), and their two daughters, Trish (Taylor Geare) and Dee Dee (Claire Geare), have just moved into their new home.  Will and Libby seem to take to the house, while the two young girls need some time to adjust.

Things take a turn for the worst once Will hears a story about what happened to the last family that lived there.  The mother and her two daughters were murdered.  The father, who was the prime suspect, was sent to a mental hospital.  Will can’t help but wonder why his family was never told this when they bought the house.

He sets out to investigate.  Everywhere he turns, he’s met with resistance.  The police, even most of the neighbors refuse to talk about the tragedy.  The only person that seems interested in helping are his neighbors, Ann Paterson (Naomi Watts) and her daughter, Chloe (Rachel G. Fox).  But even they seem hesitant to reveal the truth.  What happened that night that everyone wants to keep hidden?

“Dream House” starts out slow.  When watching the preview, you assume it’s going to be another haunted house thriller — It pretty much is.  The audience is treated to typical scares caused by falling objects, objects banging against a window, people hiding amongst trees.  Most of the scares are caused by the characters’ paranoia, not ghosts or demons.

The story moves pretty slow.  It’s easy to see that the writer, David Lockua, and the director, Jim Sheridan, were trying to go for suspense.  However, the movie’s pace will grown thin with the audience.

When it comes to horror or suspense movies, the audience only has so much patience as they wait for the climax of the movie.  There are some interesting twists towards the end.  But by then, the audience might be too bored to care.

The cast tries their best with what was given them. Craig was awesome in his role as James Bond.  Here, he is the typical father who spends most of the movie going from scared to angry. Weisz is reduced to constantly screaming and demanding what is happening. Watts’ role isn’t quite important until the film’s twist.

“Dream House” tries too hard to be scary, but fails.  The film would’ve worked better if it was advertised as a mystery thriller rather than a horror movie.  It seems almost cruel to advertise a movie as a horror movie, with no actual horror elements.  Movie-goers should wait to visit the “Dream House.”  The only thing frightening about this movie is the money you paid to see it.

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