Curious to know what critics think about the new A-list horror film Dream House? Join the club. Even though the flick (in theaters this Friday), about a family that moves into a new home where murders once took place, stars such big names as Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts, the suits at Universal Pictures have opted to not screen the Jim Sheridan-directed supernatural thriller for the press. It’s a concealment tactic that’s usually employed for low-rent projects like Shark Night 3D, not one with bankable movie stars on board. Here’s the bottom line, though: By withholding Dream House from reviewers, the studio is basically saying, “We don’t need you guys to tell us our movie sucks—we know it does, so let’s try to forget it even exists.”
One look at the film’s trailers, commercials, or posters and the writing appears to be on the wall—Dream House appears to be yet another lame haunted house movie that pilfers from every one that’s come before it. And, apparently, the studio agrees. Take Dream House’s one sheet, for instance; the image of two similar-looking little girls holding hands is strikingly comparable to the infamous ghost twins in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 classic The Shining (see the above picture for proof). And then there’s the twist dropped in the trailer, which presents Craig’ father character as a psycho, not unlike the condition that befalls Jack Nicholson in The Shining or James Brolin in the original Amityville Horror.
Clearly, Dream House is no The Haunting (1963), or The Innocents (1961); shit, it won’t even hold a spooky candle to Insidious, a film that tweaked familiar concepts into fresh ideas this past April. Dream House, on the other hand, will most likely regurgitate things we’ve all seen before in creepy domestic horror flicks; more specifically, The 10 Worst Haunted House Movie Clichés.
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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)