Dream House

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Dream House
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Universal Pictures
Opens September 30

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Even more than with his 50 Cent-headlined gangsta-drama Get Rich or Die Tryin', Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father, In America) proves wholly out of his element with Dream House, a ghost story that's clueless about the staleness of Sixth Sense-style supernatural gimmickry. After quitting his book-editor job to spend time with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two daughters, aspiring novelist Will (Daniel Craig) discovers that, five years earlier, his new home was the scene of a horrific crime…perpetrated by him! This reality-twisting bombshell would be blatantly foreseeable even if it weren't ruined by the film's TV commercials, since Will's conversations with Libby and their no-dimensional neighbor Ann (Naomi Watts) are dripping with things-aren't-what-they-seem suggestions. Moreover, said revelation isn't to be taken seriously, as Sheridan's tale soon segues into an unevenly paced whodunit pockmarked with lame CG nightmare sequences and populated by hollow ciphers whose every word and action is less believable than the last. Superficially shouting out to The Shining while squandering its high-caliber leads in melodramatic faux-spooky hokum, Dream House also manages to commit a cardinal thriller sin: casting well-known actors in ostensibly inconsequential roles, which in this case reveals the real culprit before the mystery proper has even begun.

 
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