Dream Home comes to DVD

Monday, 28 March 2011 17:16

“Dream Home” is a horror/thriller movie about extremes - extreme obsession, extreme misfortune and extreme violence. Miss Cheng (Josie Ho – “Contagion”, “So Close”) and her poor family face the constant threat of eviction by underhand landlords keen to redevelop whole swathes of Hong Kong. Property prices are astronomical but Cheng dreams about living in the gleaming waterfront tower-block viewable from her window.

As the years roll by and things turn from bad to worse, her property fixation becomes an all-consuming obsession. Despite taking on three jobs to bring in extra cash, every time the trendy apartment is within her grasp, something happens to obstruct her. Driven mad out of desperation, depression and frustration, our anti-heroine resorts to deadly measures in order to secure her dream home; absolutely nothing will stand in her way.

Dream Home on DVD - NOT a reality show!The film opens in 2007 with the chilling murder of a security guard posted in the CTV control room of the posh apartment block. It then jumps back and forth through time between the 1990s and 2000s to explain how the once sweet Cheng could possibly be driven to kill in cold blood. As her rampage through the building continues, so new pieces of the jigsaw are filled in to ultimately explain her motives.

Regardless of her original plan, witnesses and other events in the block force Cheng to ramp up the body count, partly to tie up loose ends, partly to make the environment match her idyllic impression of what life there should be like. She goes about her deadly business like an impassionate Terminator with a single goal; most victims are too stunned to save themselves or fight her off.

Each act of violence is supremely brutal and yet no-one seems to be in a hurry to die. This allows director Ho-Cheung Pang plenty of time to focus unflinchingly on each murder in horrible, blow-by-blow detail. Victims are left half dead, bleeding out or suffocating on the floor and squirming in agony.

It is a difficult film to watch without being tempted to hide behind your hands or the back of the sofa, or alternatively reach for a sick bucket. There is none of that bright red comedy blood here; everything looks very realistic and the ‘pain acting’ is very credible, enhancing the discomfort of the viewer. Horror fans who do not like strong gory images should skip this title or risk missing out on half of it.

It is a very dark film thematically, with a few instances of uncomfortable black humour thrown in to very slightly lighten the mood every now and then. Topics covered include critical illness, economic hardship, the social impact of the handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese, and last but by no means least the exploitation of vulnerable women by horribly callous men.

Interestingly, despite all of the difficulties suffered by Cheng and her family, you never really root for her because her obsession seems frivolous and unrealistic. Yes, one should always strive to do better, but being besotted with a pretty apartment block is hardly the best way forwards for a poor family. There is something desperate and unpleasant about her personality and the film suffers because of it.

In summary, this is a tense and depressing horror film that succeeds on some points and falls down on others. It depicts extreme acts of violence and gets under your skin, sucking you in and filling you with dread. The main character is not very likeable but then some of her victims are equally unpleasant. Others are totally innocent and certainly do not deserve to be on the receiving end of her sharp implements, forcing a wedge between you and the protagonist. If morally questionable movies are your thing, give it a go.

Special features on the disc include a slightly dry 10-minute interview with the star (who evidently had a greater role than just acting in the film, not least singing one of the songs featured in it), a behind-the-scenes picture gallery, a trailer and a booklet by genre critic Billy Chainsaw.

“Dream Home” (2010) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Network Releasing. The main feature has a total running time of 96 minutes approx, carries an ‘18’ certificate and retails for £14.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

denizli escort denizli escort