#150 -- Dream House (2011)

Director: Jim Sheridan
Rating: 3/5

I used to feel weird if I posted more than once in a day. I think I just felt it was proper blogging etiquette to do a single post each day. But it's my blog, and I can do whatever the hell I want. And I'm trying to see every horror movie ever, and that would take a hell of a long time if I only watched one movie a day. It will take a hell of a long time either way, but why the hell not? Why shouldn't I post as much as possible? So from now on, I'm going to watch movies like hell, and if I want to do two or three reviews in one day, I will. I've got a goal here, and I'd like to speed up the process if I can. This will be my second movie review for today, and I might post another one later. I've had one saved back for a couple weeks now, one that I realized I didn't need for the "A" Challenge. After a year of blogging, I've reviewed less than two hundred movies, and I feel like that's a really small number. So, here's to making that number jump sky high.

Dream House is another one that I found On Demand (I think the OD is my new best friend now). My boyfriend and I were interested in it, because we thought it was going to be a creepy ghost story. It was a ghost story, but it wasn't creepy at all. That's not to say it was bad, it just wasn't what we expected. There's a family of four--Will, wife Libby, and daughters Trish and Dee Dee--moving into the house of their dreams. They're busy fixing it up and being a wonderful happy family, until things start happening that make them nervous. The first happens when their youngest daughter Dee Dee sees a man staring at her through the window. They brush it off, saying that she just saw her reflection and it freaked her out. Then, Will sees a man outside, standing right at that window. He chases him, but loses him before he can reveal his identity. When Will is gone one day, Libby sees the man outside the window. After that, the unknown person takes it a step further. He drives into their yard and tries to run Will down with his car. Will also discovered a group of teenagers in his basement doing some sort of ritual, and one of them tells him about the murders. An entire family was murdered in that house five years before, and Will becomes determined to learn everything he can about it. He goes to the police, but they refuse to help him. He does find out that not everyone in the family died, as the girl had told him. The father, Peter Ward, survived. He was arrested, but he thought to be insane and he was sent to a facility. Will decides to visit Peter in the facility, but when he arrives, he discovers that Peter has been released. After that, he speaks to a man who works in the facility. The man shows him videos of Peter, who truly is crazy. But when Will sees Peter's face, he realizes that it's...him. Apparently, after the death of his family, he went insane. He couldn't deal with their deaths, so he completely refused to believe that he was Peter Ward. He created a new identity: Will Atenton. By the time he was released, he couldn't remember anything. So, Will's family is dead. But the thing is, he can still see them. He can touch them, hold them, kiss them. They're a happy family, except for the fact that he knows they're dead. What's terrible about the whole thing is that he can't remember whether or not he killed them. He doesn't feel like he could, because he loves them more than anything, but he just doesn't know. His neighbor doesn't believe that he killed them either. So Will has to try to figure out who actually killed his family, and try to get over them and move on. The identity of the real killer isn't really all that shocking, but the reasoning behind it is. It turned out to be one of those, "Ain't that a bitch," type of things. In the end, Will ends up in an epic battle with the true attackers, and he is finally able to let go of his family. It's a really sad story, to tell you the truth, and I found myself nearly tearing up at the end. But scary? Not so much.

One problem that I had was the fact that I was a little confused as to whether or not Will's wife and children were actually ghosts. For a while it made it seem like he was just crazy and couldn't get over their deaths. That's completely understandable and believable, of course. There was one point that made me believe they really were haunting the house, but it never made it 100% clear. I went into it expecting a ghost story, but I didn't get one. There were ghosts, sure; and at one point, Libby did help Will evade the killers. But the ghosts were the good guys. I'm not usually one of those, "stick to the formula or die" types of people, but ghosts are supposed to be scary, right? Especially in a horror movie. It was different; strange but kind of interesting. Just not for a horror. That's what made me feel like this was more of a drama than a horror movie. That's happening a lot lately, it seems. That raises an important question: why are so many drama movies pretending to be horror movies? Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only one who feels that this is more dramatic than scary. Maybe I'm the only stupid person who thought this was a horror movie. Or maybe it's just classified as thriller which, to me, means it's not quite rough enough to be horror, but too rough to be anything else. Or it's just trying to be horror and doesn't quite make it. Maybe I'm just looking too far into it. I don't know, but I'm tired of my horror movies playing out like dramas. I'm not saying Dream House was a bad movie, because it wasn't, but where was the horror that I was expecting? I was hoping it would be at least a little bit creepy, since there were ghosts involved--and ghost children at that! There were no scares, no gore, and no horror whatsoever. But the story was good, and the actors did an amazing job, so I enjoyed it. It was a good movie; but when it's classified as horror, it just falls short.

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