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With: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Elias Koteas, Marton Csokas, Taylor Geare, Claire Geare, Rachel G. Fox, Jane Alexander, Brian Murray, Bernadette Quigley, Sarah Gadon, Gregory Smith, Mark Wilson
Written by: David Loucka
Directed by: Jim Sheridan
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language
Running Time: 92
Date: 09/29/2011

Dream House (2011)

1 Star (out of 4)

Burden of Roof

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

It's possible to see, somewhere in the fabric of this weird, overwrought misfire, that a good movie might once have been possible. Director Jim Sheridan, a six-time Oscar nominee for My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, and In America, is normally quite good with stories about families. But it appears that neither he, nor screenwriter David Loucka, nor the editors, had any idea where this story starts, where it goes, and when it ends.

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) decides to quit his job as a book editor to write and to spend more time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and daughters in his new "dream house." Unfortunately, he learns that some terrible murders took place in the house. Strange things begin happening. The neighbors, such as the pretty Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts) and her angry ex-husband (Marton Csokas), are acting suspiciously, and mysterious figures are hanging around in the woods, watching the house. Will begins to dig a little deeper into the house's past and discovers a sinister secret, and everything he has believed in comes crashing down around him.

Dream House appears to climax at the halfway point, and many of the actors and their characters are left stranded. Poor Craig must suffer a strange change of hairstyle every few minutes, and Watts's character -- it turns out -- has very little to do with anything. Moreover, there's no attempt to create any red herrings, and the mystery stalls. Even the rules behind the supernatural elements are ignored. Finally, the emotional content is so ridiculously over-pitched that audiences are liable to laugh at this family's misfortunes.

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