Blu-ray Review: Dream House

Dream House Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Jim Sheridan | CAST: Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Elias Koteas
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 1/31/2012 | PRICE: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98
BONUSES: featurettes
SPECS: PG-13 | 92 min. | Thriller | 2.40:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, Spanish, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Dream HouseWhen Dream House screened in theaters, critics gave it the big raspberry, but it’s a much better film than they’d have you believe.

The movie tells the story of Will Atenton (Daniel Craig, Cowboys & Aliens) and his wife (Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower) as they move with their two daughters into their dream house, only to discover that a family was murdered there years ago.

Sounds like fodder for a horror movie; the killer’s back and slashing up the new owners or some such genre plot. But this isn’t a horror film. It’s a psychological thriller that unspools as Craig’s character makes discoveries about the house as well as his own past. And that’s where the marketing went wrong for this film.

Dream House boasts a tidy, twisty script by David Loucka (Borderline), good performances across the board, and sensitive direction by Jim Sheridan (Brothers). It’s not a perfect movie. The pacing is slow in places, and you do have to accept certain things (one big one, like why some characters would even be allowed to be walking around in society if they’re supposedly a “danger to themselves and other people”). Dream House also almost ends up being two films tacked together, the outer mystery and the psychological one. But through all that is a good story about love, trauma and what we consider reality.

Shot with silhouettes and dreary days contrasting with their bright warm home, the movie’s high-definition presentation on the Blu-ray is great. The blacks are deep and the colors sharp. They play beautifully against John Debney’s (No Strings Attached) enchanting score, which is clear and haunting in the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD.

Universal kept the special features on the Blu-ray minimal, with just four featurettes that are so quick, they’re almost non-existent. The most interesting one looks at the scene in which the filmmakers burned the house. The others reveal that the neighbor’s house was built for the movie, interviews with the cast and a promotional piece with the actors telling the story between scenes from the film.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.