Dream House is a 2011 horror film.
8 out of 10 stars. The film is told out of sequence with frequent flashbacks. Add to that, the confusing plot, and it can be hard to watch, but the payoff at the end is worth it.
Daniel Craig plays Will Attenton who quits his job at a major NYC publisher to spend more time with his wife and two daughters. They’ve recently purchased their dream house and are excited about spending more time together. But with each passing day stranger things happen to them. At first they believe the house is haunted, but then Will catches teenagers breaking into the house while they are home. One night a maroon car drives up to the house and when he goes to confront the driver, he is almost run over several times as the driver attempts to kill him.
When the police will not help him, Will eventually goes to find the man who apparently murdered his wife and kids in the house, Peter Ward. Apparently Peter was recently released from a psychiatric hospital because the police didn’t have enough evidence against him. Peter was shot in the head by his wife and has no memory of the events, so the police assumed he was the killer. But when Will can’t find Peter, he goes to the psychiatric hospital to confront the psychiatrist who released him. He tells Will that he is Peter.
Peter goes home and the police arrive to remove him from the home, which is now condemned. Apparently he has been in the psychiatric hospital for several years. Across the street, his neighbor Ann, who he just discovered has been visiting him in the hospital all these years, invites him to stay with her. She tells him he didn’t kill his family. Their families were best friends.
Peter returns to his house and tries to make his wife show him what happened that night. He discovers that Ann’s ex-husband Jack was behind the whole thing. After Ann divorced Jack, he wanted her dead and hired a local thug named Boyce to kill him. Boyce, who was high on drugs, went to the wrong house and killed Libby, Peter’s wife. Too late, he realized his mistake then had to kill the kids. And in the confusion, Libby accidentally shot Peter in the head before she died. Boyce ran and Peter was arrested and taken to the psychiatric hospital.
That afternoon, Jack discovers that Peter is staying with Ann and hires Boyce a second time to kill Ann and this time also Peter. The two of them find Ann with Peter at Peter’s condemned house. Ann and Peter are knocked out and Libby’s ghost is the only remaining “person” there to save them. Jack kills Boyce then ties up Ann, making it appear that Peter kidnapped her. He puts a gun in Peter’s hand and douses the house with gasoline then he sets the house on fire. Only Peter can see Libby so she screams, trying to wake Peter. Peter eventually wakes and while Libby knocks the wind chimes around, which confuse Jack, Peter knocks him out and carries Ann outside. Jack dies in his own fire.
In the end, Peter moves to NYC and writes a book about what happened to his family. He calls it Dream House.
8 out of 10 stars. If you think this isn’t possible, you haven’t been paying attention to domestic violence in this country. This thing happens way too frequently because domestic abusers aren’t held accountable for their violence toward women.
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