Monday, November 14, 2011

Dream Home: Grade B


Dream Home (2010)

Josie Ho, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Eason Chan, Hee Ching Paw, Kwok Cheung Tsang; Director Ho-Cheung Pang (Cantonese Chinese; Subtitled).

There is a movie in theaters now with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz called “Dream House.” A family becomes the target of a serial killer in that movie. I haven’t seen it.

This film is called Dream Home, and is from the point of view of a serial killer. A young woman has scrimped and saved for a lifetime to afford the perfect apartment by the sea. But alas, the building is fully occupied and nothing is for sale. Solution? Kill some occupants, creating instant vacancies.

In fairness, I need to say the victims are not just “killed,” for that sounds tidy. No, these victims are violently, bloodily slaughtered, using knives, boards, fists, and garrotes. This is an extremely violent, bloody, Hong Kong horror/slasher film. Nevertheless, I found it enjoyable.

One reason is that there is a balance between the young woman’s ordinary everydayness, at work, with her friends, with her family, versus her forays into serial murder, so you don't overdose. There is no attempt to provide psychological continuity between those two halves of herself. The movie plays it as if the gory murders were the most reasonable thing in the world for a person to do. There is no suggestion that she is a conflicted Jekyll/Hyde. So realism is out the window, but still, the story is marginally plausible.

Also, the murders are very creative, almost humorous. What I mean is that they are so gory and brutal, you can’t for a moment take them seriously. They are just real enough to make you gasp, and you will. For creative murders in the filmic art, you can’t beat these. I doubt that you have seen murder by vacuum cleaner, for example. Finally, the acting is better than not bad. So if you can get past some extreme violence and blood and guts, this is one of the better in the Hong Kong slasher/horror genre.

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