starring Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Marton Csokas, Taylor Geare, Claire
Geare, Rachel G. Fox and Elias Koteas
written by David Loucka
directed by Jim Sheridan
Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of the brutal murder of the family that lived there before. Soon the children report seeing a man’s face watching them through the windows. The mother reports the same, and the husband discovers intruders in his basement. I was expecting a thrilling ghost story and scary haunted house when I rented the DVD, but it didn’t turn out that way.
The movie is all a twist because it turns out that the entire story is a delusion by the father of the family Will Atenton, a.k.a. Peter Ward, who was jailed in a psychiatric hospital for committing the murder of his wife and daughters. The twist is that Will/Peter is really the innocent victim of the neighbor across the street who hired a hit man (Elias Koteas) to murder his wife, Ann (Naomi Watts) so that he could get sole custody of his daughter, Chloe (Rachel Fox) in his own marital dispute. But the hit man went to the wrong house in the confusion of a snowstorm and kills Peter Ward’s family by mistake. All of this is made clear late in the film as Peter, released from hospital, fights his way through his madness to the solution of it all.
It was too slow for me, though. I got bored waiting to see how it would be resolved. My wife watched with me and we kept trying to anticipate the story. “The wife is the real killer.” “The neighbor’s husband is the killer.”
People from Will’s imagined life become real characters in Peter’s troubled life. So the same faces recur in different roles, as the story slowly makes better sense. The two sisters in the story are really adorable girls. It’s a nasty turn of events that they got shot to death.
A year later, Peter returns to New York City and publishes a book called Dream House about his recent experiences, which becomes a bestseller.
Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are married in real life.