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Movie Review - Dream House with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz (2011)

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Background

If you are a fan of James Bond films, you will have to suspend your memories of Daniel Craig in that role.  For “Dream House,” he needs a James Bond character to solve his convoluted problems for the viewer who remains stymied at the unbelievable events that crop up at unexpected times.  You may be interested to know that Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz were married after starring in this never-to-be-forgotten film, at least for them.

                                                       

Daniel Craig

                                                              Daniel Craig - Wikimedia

Introduction

Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) had been a successful editor in a famed publishing firm in New York City when he decided to put that road to fame behind him in order to retire and spend time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and their two little girls, Trish and Dee Dee.  The family moved to the fictional town of New Ashford, Connecticut where Will could achieve the peace and quiet necessary to concentrate on writing his novel.

Their Dream House Has a History

Soon, however, that peace and quiet was marred by strange events.  Footprints in the snow and faces looking in the windows at his daughters send Will and Libby into protective mode when their dream house turns into a nightmare.  The realtor never mentioned the fact that a mother and her two children were killed in that house five years ago.  Although the husband, Peter Ward, was the chief suspect, there was no evidence discernible to convict him except for his weird behavior which gained entrance for him to Greenhaven Treatment Center.

                                                         

Rachel Weisz

                                                              Rachel Weisz - Wikimedia

Will Meets Their Neighbor

Upon meeting their neighbor across the street, Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts), Will encounters another mystery when Ann refused to talk about events that occurred in his house.  When asked if she had left a plant on the Atenton’s front porch, she said no.  Her husband Jack and Ann were apparently in the middle of a custody battle over their teen-aged daughter Chloe, and Jack appeared to be an unfriendly and bitter person.

Will Wakes to Strange Noises

Will awoke one evening to the sound of creaking floorboards and a doorknob rattling.  Bells were tinkling and voices were whispering.  Upon investigating, he learned that it was just some teenagers messing around.  The told Will that they didn’t think anybody lived there, and that a family was murdered in the house five years ago.  He chased them away.

Will Goes to the Police

The next morning, Will went into town to talk to the police who told him about Peter Ward, the suspected killer, who was still alive.  They assured Will that New Ashford was a safe town and that he had nothing to worry about.  Will looked up the old newspaper stories in the archives and found several accounts of the events of five years ago, such as “Multiple murders shock community.”

Chloe was a Friend of the Dead Girls

Will and Libby’s young daughter Trish heard a voice on her cell phone saying “Everybody who lives in this house gets killed.”  Will asked Ann Patterson if her daughter Chloe might have sent the message.  She said her daughter was having nightmares because it was the fifth anniversary of the death of the young girls and their mother.

                                                              

Naomi Watts

                                                               Naomi Watts - Wikimedia

A Secret Room in the House

That evening, Will spied a dark figure out in the yard.  While chasing the figure, Will fell into a pond and the intruder got away.  He and Libby could not find their girls anywhere but heard their voices coming from behind a closet wall.  The girls had found a clubhouse of sorts off of their closet, filled with books and toys belonging to little girls.

A Visit from Ann Patterson

Ann Patterson brought some stew over for the family.  When Will asked her if she knew the people who have lived there, she gave him no answer.  Will called to Libby to come down to meet their neighbor, but Ann left too quickly.  Libby had found a bullet hole in the wall when she was painting, plus some height measurements of small children written on the wall.

Will Visits Greenhaven

Will made a visit to Greenhaven Treatment Center to learn more about Peter Ward.  Without permission, he walked up to Peter Ward’s room where he found a picture of his own wife and children.  The man in the room claimed that he was not Peter Ward, but that his name was Martin.  He said that Peter Ward had been discharged.

The Police are Unconcerned

Sometime after Will returned home, a car came close to the front door of Will’s house and almost ran him down.  He told the police that the man was driving a maroon Buick.  They seemed unconcerned, and Libby was puzzled.  “Why are they not helping us?” she asked.  Will showed Libby the picture of their family that Martin had in his room.

The Film Becomes Weird

At this point, the film turns very weird and unbelievable.  Will was accused of being Peter Ward who had possibly killed his wife and children five years ago.  He came down with a serious fever and Libby put him to bed and cared for him.

Jack Patterson’s Revenge

Meanwhile Jack Patterson, Ann’s husband, was seeking revenge against his wife and hired a killer to take care of her.  Unfortunately, the killer chose the wrong house and went to Will and Libby’s house instead.  He set the house on fire.

                                          

Pistol
                                  

                                                                     Pistol - Wikimedia                                                                                                                                 

No Spoiler Here

The events that follow will not be revealed here.  Admittedly, I suspected the ending that occurred.  An astute viewer should be able to guess the unlikely ending also.

Daniel Craig’s Acting Ability is Questionable

I have never been able to understand Daniel Craig’s expressionless face, either as James Bond or Will Atenton.  He gives away nothing.  Apparently, Rachel Weisz saw something wonderful in him.  They married shortly after they finished shooting this film.

I cannot recommend this film to anyone.  It was implausible, not scary, badly put together, and truly an embarrassment to the writers as well as the actors.

 

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Dream House
Amazon Price: $5.54 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 31, 2016)
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