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Dream House (2011) - Movie Review

Watching No Time to Die (2021) recently got me thinking about another Daniel Craig film that I watched years ago and remember liking.

I decided to track it down and give it another watch.

Dream House (2011)

When this movie came out Daniel Craig had already got films like Layer Cake (2004), Munich (2005), The Invasion (2007) and The Golden Compass (2007) under his belt, not to mention two Bond films! This one however appears to have slipped through a lot of people’s nets.

If you haven’t seen it, it’s a mystery/drama/thriller starring (you guessed it) Daniel Craig (Skyfall), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), Naomi Watts (The Ring), Elias Koteas (Let Me In) and Marton Csokas (The Equilizer) among others.

This is what it’s about according to the internet:

Publisher Will Atenton (Craig) quits a lucrative job in New York to relocate his wife, Libby (Weisz) and their daughters to a quaint town in New England. As they settle into their home however, the Atentons discover that a woman and her children were murdered there, and the surviving husband is the town's prime suspect. With help from a neighbor (Watts) who was close to the murdered family, Will pieces together a horrifying chain of events.

The critics (and everyone else it seems) hated this movie when it came out. Even the director, Jim Sheridan who allegedly clashed with the studio over the script disliked the final cut of the film, as did its two main stars, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. Sheridan hated it so much in fact that he tried to have his name removed from it.

Despite all the hate, I like it.

Ok so it’s not gonna blow anyone’s socks off, but for a 92 minute piece of entertainment, I found it just that - entertaining.

The story is compelling, the performances are good (although I still have issues with Rachel Weisz’s American accent) the chemistry between Craig and Weisz is undeniable (they are married in real life after all) and it does a good job of keeping you interested. This is largely due to the fact that, unless you already know where it’s all heading, for most of the film you’re trying to figure out exactly what’s going on.

Apparently the trailer gave a lot of the plot away, which is probably why people were disappointed with the film. I can’t help thinking though that with so many eyes on Daniel Craig at that time (he was quite new to the role of Bond back then), anything he did would be under intense scrutiny.

Personally I think this film is a victim of the “high expectations curse!”

Regardless of people’s hate of this film I recommend it.

I really enjoyed watching it again last night, and to tell you the truth, after 10 years I’d actually forgotten parts of it which made for another great viewing experience.

If you like films like Stir of Echoes (1999), Shutter Island (2010) and to an extent, The Others (2001) I think you’d enjoy this movie.

Don’t listen to the haters, listen to the Screen Room Movie Podcast guy and give this a chance.

You can rent it for £3.49 from Amazon Prime.

Seen it? Let me know your thoughts.

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