Film Preview – Dream House

A film with a star cast such as Dream House easily catches the eye of many. Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts, all very well known and good actors, seemed to promise a thriller that one might remember for a long time.

I went to see the film with high expectations and the trailer also looked very exciting. With a budget of over $50 million dollars, the film also promised to be quite a treat.

The film starts with the main character, Will Atenten (Daniel Craig), quitting his job as an editor. He chooses to live outside the city with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and his two daughters. However, what seems to be a nice country home and idyll turns out to be a house with a rather gory history. Will and Libby find out that an entire family was murdered in the house a few years ago and also the neighbours behave rather strangely. Alarmed by all of this, Will decides to investigate about the house with the local police only finding that they are of little help. Finally, he visits a mental institution to find out more about the murderer, Peter Ward, who is kept in confinement there.

As it turns out, in a rather predictive manner, Will is actually Peter Ward and he allegedly killed his own family in their house 5 years ago. Libby and his kids are indeed only a fragment of his imagination and during his stay at the mental institution he gave himself another name and was released, as there was not enough evidence to press charges.

Returning home he struggles to accept that his wife is dead and still sees her and her kids in front of him as being alive. He slowly realises that he lives in a dream world and his neighbour Ann (Naomi Watts) helps him understand his past and who he really is.

Will, aka Peter, now tries to find out who killed his family, even if it was himself. Finally the mystery is resolved and you should go and watch the movie to find out…

The plot is disappointingly predictable and the film is also not really scary or intimidating, as would be expected by a thriller. The ending is particularly weak.

Rachel Weisz is playing a great role, but both Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts fall a bit too short in their performance in my opinion.

However, the film very well portrays how every one of us creates their own world inside his/ her head. The philosophical question arises whether such a thing as an objective reality actually exits. Do we all live in a bubble comparable to that of Peter Ward? Maybe not to such an extreme, but it is scary how each one of us creates our own reality.

I really enjoyed the movie from that philosophical perspective and the idea of the film was great. However, it does fall short behind other films of this genre such as Shutter Island or Inception. Way too short also considering the cast.

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About Sebastian Müller

Sebastian Müller was born and raised in Leipzig/Germany and moved to England as an adolescent. He is a trained research chemist and geneticist and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut Curie in Paris/ France working in cancer research. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and is still actively involved at the university today. He is fluent in English, German and French and has many fortés and interests including science, philosophy, linguistics, history, competitive sports such as rowing, fitness and nutrition. He is a freelance writer also drawing from his experience as an author in peer-reviewed scientific journals. "I love writing and putting my thoughts down on paper. The written word to me is one of the most powerful ways of conveying thoughts and initiating discussions."
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