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Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quit a high-profile job in Manhattan to relocate his wife, Libby (Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz), and their two daughters to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was once the murder scene of a mother and her children. When Will investigates, he’s not sure if he’s seeing ghosts or if the tragic events are somehow related to his past. The only clues come from his mysterious neighbor, Ann (Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts), who helps him piece together this haunting puzzle. Full of twists and suspense, this psychological thriller will have you on the edge of your seat.
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This movie appears to me as more a relationship story, suspenseful, a psychological thriller, and yes, horror-ish in parts. There are quite a few added in classic horror tidbits, nothing off-putting for someone like myself who doesn't care for them necessarily. It does carry along an undercurrent of the supernatural and you do start to question what is real and what is not.
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and owe a lot to the reviewers for their time in writing. If I wouldn't have read up on this film from their points of view (all of their points at the release time), I would have never watched this. It is marketed wrongly so it could go totally unnoticed while it is a valid piece of entertainment. A chilling account that I was enthralled with.
Starting off with novel writer Will (Daniel Craig) leaving work and then returning home to his close-knit family. Will's adoring wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) greets him along with their two daughters. The house is continually in a state of repair always by Libby and is something for you to be watching.
During one night Will discovers, unbeknownst to him, that teenagers have broken into his basement so he chases them off of his property, bewildered of their motives. Things are getting more and more confusing, they are very dangerous for his once comfortable family. It is around this time that he meets his neighbor across the street, Ann (Naomi Watts). He seems to feel as if he may just know her more than what's apparently seen. There is also an interesting little cameo by Jane Alexander, that first comes into view at the genesis of the story.
I wouldn't want you to read any more than the character set-up if you already haven't had this movie tainted with spoilers or watching the trailer (Again, please abstain if possible). One must really view this for themselves. I immediately watched it again and found that I had missed so many *tip-offs right in front of me to my surprise. I will have to see this another time soon because I am still curious to find all of what I've overlooked.
"Dream House" does boast an interesting and haunting cast that is not shy on chemistry in the two leads. Craig and Weisz have a distinct and completely believable attraction which is now quite understandable. Along with the great acting, add Naomi Watts to this duo for one more. There is just as much warmth, at times, to this as there are suspenseful moments and a lot of it if you have your eyes peeled all around and all of the time. These actors keep you present in the movie. By the way, I loved the ending of which I certainly was not expecting. It gave me a cynical smile in this taut and tightly stretched movie.
** PARTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD **
Such as why did Naomi Watts not help out Craig when he spent five years in a mental hospital for something he didn't do? Or why did Watts' husband return to a crime scene where he'd effectively gotten away with the crime? It's one of those films that lacks the finesse of more tightly plotted twisty films like The Sixth Sense, and when you play it backwards it doesn't really hold up to any scrutiny.
Overall, it's well acted and the setup has some promise. I don't know if this story was a victim of multiple re-writes but it shifts gears halfway through and everything that was good about the premise is wasted.