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Dream House


Stars: Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Marton Csokas, Elias Koteas, Jane Alexander, Brian Murray, Rachel Fox, Bernadette Quigley, Taylor Geare, Claire Geare

Director: Jim Sheridan

If I see one more film in which the villain kills his own henchman at the end, I shall scream. Not that it makes much difference to the credibility of this stylishly-shot but very silly chiller in which logic is a notable absentee. There are some good ideas here, but the writers have failed to mould them into a convincing whole.

Craig (yes, he does take his shirt off) plays Will, who has just quit his job to spend more time with his wife (Weisz, now Craig's real-life wife) and two kids at their new house in the leafy suburbs. It soon transpires, however, that the house has a bloody history, as a previous owner was suspected of killing his wife and children there.

It's difficult to discuss this film's flaws and deficiencies without revealing too much of its plot, but suffice to say that there are ghosts here, and a major twist that occurs about half-way through. 'There's real joy in this house,' Craig tells Weisz, but he must be kidding. Neighbour Ann (Watts), beset by an embittered ex (Csokas), clams up on the subject and when Craig visits the halfway house to which the suspected killer was released, he finds a photo of his own family in the man's room. Beginning to get the picture?

The trailer to this indicates a scary movie, but that isn't the case; this is fairly intriguing for a while, but scary it ain't. Craig gives a subdued, below-par performance, while Watts, mysteriously billed second, is scarcely in it, and it's Weisz who fares best with her natural outgoing warmth.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour by deluxe.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 20 Nov 2011