Dream House (2011)



Critic Consensus: Dream House is punishingly slow, stuffy, and way too obvious to be scary.

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Successful publisher Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quit a job in New York City to relocate his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and two girls to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children. And the entire city believes it was at the hands of the husband who survived. When Will investigates the tragedy, his only lead comes from Ann Paterson (Naomi Watts), a neighbor who was close to the family that died. As Will and Ann piece together the disturbing puzzle, they discover that the story of the last man to leave Will's dream house will be just as horrifying to the one who came next. -- (C) Universal Pictures
PG-13 (for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong)
Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
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Daniel Craig
as Will Atenton
Rachel Weisz
as Libby Atenton
Naomi Watts
as Ann Paterson
Marton Csokas
as Jack Patterson
Claire Geare
as Dee Dee
Rachel G. Fox
as Chloe Patterson
Jane Alexander
as Dr. Greeley
Brian Murray
as Dr. Medlin
Bernadette Quigley
as Heather Keeler
Sarah Gadon
as Cindi
Mark Wilson
as Capt. Conklin
David Huband
as Officer Nelson
Jean Yoon
as New Editor
Jonathan Potts
as Tony Ferguson
Marlee Otto
as Young Author
Niguel Henry
as Author's Assistant/Guard 1
Bryon Mumford
as Author's Assistant/Guard 2
Joe Pingue
as Martin
Ryan Blakely
as Harkness Client
Karen Glave
as Harkness Receptionist
David Fox
as Building Inspector
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Critic Reviews for Dream House

All Critics (82) | Top Critics (15)

A well-acted but ramshackle mess.

Full Review… | November 22, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Was the screenplay, credited to David Loucka, this schizophrenic from the beginning? Or was some major tampering/reworking done at some point?

Full Review… | October 2, 2011
Top Critic

This suburban gothic is a logy, convoluted mess.

Full Review… | September 30, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The film's ambitions are woefully small and familiar.

Full Review… | September 30, 2011
AV Club
Top Critic

While Will and Libby struggle to adjust their thinking caps, the viewer already knows, thanks to the tell-all trailer, the reason for much of the confusion.

September 30, 2011
Toronto Star
Top Critic

This crackpot thriller from the usually competent Jim Sheridan leaves only one mystery unsolved: what on earth was he thinking?

September 30, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Dream House

This mess of a film has a few interesting elements but the stupid plot wants so badly to be convoluted that it forgets to be coherent or even plausible. And beware, the trailer gives away the entire movie, including the twists, which only proves that the people in charge of the marketing are complete imbeciles.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

It's really surprising that this film hasn't been paid more attention. Not positive attention, mind you, but the kind of attention that truly bad films deserve. This film should have been eviscerated, picked apart, and trivialized until it couldn't languish in its obscurity any longer. Director Jim Sheridan (a six time Oscar nominee) tried to get his name taken off of this film after it was recut, and the trailer released, which gave away the entire twist of the film. That's right, if you watch the trailer, you will understand the entire film without having to watch it. Daniel Craig plays a father and husband, who lives in a house, which apparently was home to a family who was murdered five years prior. While the film looks like a ghost story, it's actually a psychological mystery, which it needn't be. This film is clumsy, thoughtless, confusing, and doesn't know what it wants to be. The ending is slapped on carelessly, in a way that makes you laugh incredulously, like "Really? That's how you're going to end this horrible tale?" The murders are handled horribly, trying to make the gruesome deaths somehow dreamlike, taking away all the familial tension. The specters somehow have agency, and shift from his mind to nearly tangible phantoms. If you're looking for a well handled haunted house film, this is not it.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

This was an entertaining movie but to my dismay the main plot twist was given away by the trailer! I would've loved this movie if the twist and the thrill (things which make mystery movies good) weren't revealed beforehand!

Nikhil Nandu
Nikhil Nandu

Super Reviewer

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