In “Dream House,” the key word is “might,” because homeowner Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) isn’t sure. But then he isn’t sure of anything, and neither is the audience for most of this mind-bending movie, which is more “Clutter Island” than “Shutter Island.”
Directed by Jim Sheridan (“My Left Foot”), “Dream” is an ambitious haunted house film that “may” have much of the action in Will’s head. It’s the “mights” and “mays” that make the movie tough to follow.
A successful publisher, Will quits his Manhattan firm to spend time at his new country home with pretty spouse Libby (Craig’s real-life wife, Rachel Weisz) and his two adorable young daughters, Trish (Taylor Deare) and Dee Dee (Claire Austin Deare).
Spooky stuff happens: a mystery man (Elias Koteas) looking in the window, teenagers hanging out in the basement, a nervous neighbor (Naomi Watts) in fear of her exhusband (Marton Csokas). When Will hears about the murders, he checks out a local asylum where the alleged killer, Peter Ward, is supposed to be confined. A sincere psychiatrist, Dr. Greeley (Jane Alexander), approaches Will and urges him to seek her help.
What does it all mean? Has Will lost his mind? Or, are we just inside his novel?
What we do know is that “Dream House” is full of excellent actors, has top-notch cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (“The Black Stallion”) and a proven director. After it ends and the confusion settles, the puzzle pieces do fall in place. I think. “Dream House” is not likely to last in theaters, so don’t think too long before deciding to see it.