This suburban gothic is a logy, convoluted mess.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
This crackpot thriller from the usually competent Jim Sheridan leaves only one mystery unsolved: what on earth was he thinking?
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Sheridan's tale soon segues into an unevenly paced whodunit pockmarked with lame CG nightmare sequences and populated by hollow ciphers whose every word and action is less believable than the last.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
Sheridan's pacing is turgid and mournful, which lends the story -- sort of like The Shining crossed with Gothika during a sleepover stop at The Amityville Horror -- an air of ponderousness.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Daniel Craig does everything to dispel comparisons to Stanley Kubrick's The Shining with a finely tuned performance, but the film flattens as it tries to explain his character's psychological state.
Robert Koehler - Variety
While Will and Libby struggle to adjust their thinking caps, the viewer already knows, thanks to the tell-all trailer, the reason for much of the confusion.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
There are probably some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories that would explain why Dream House is such a ruined pile of nonsense.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
Was the screenplay, credited to David Loucka, this schizophrenic from the beginning? Or was some major tampering/reworking done at some point?
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Despite the talent involved, this is more a snooze than a dream.
David Rooney - Hollywood Reporter
Sheridan can't ever quite get hold of the tone and falls back on a default dreaminess (the little girls play a shaky rendition of Beethoven's "Fur Elise" more than once) that never quite convinces.
Mark Olsen - Los Angeles Times
The final wheeze of the J-horror-inspired domestic thrillers that ran rampant a few years back.
This is a sunken wreck from the get-go, and everyone involved knows it and just tries to get away.
Will Leitch - Deadspin
Dream House has been sold as a ghost movie but in reality, it is a psychological thriller mystery with a really bad ending.
Sean Kernan - We Got This Covered
The only real mystery is why some A-list actors and a director of Jim Sheridan's calibre would even ponder working on such an uncalled-for project in the first place.
Steve Newton - Georgia Straight
So much is just so...obvious.
Roger Moore - Movie Nation
At least Weisz and Craig wound up married after this mess.
"Dream House" is a mess of a film. This is not only because its writing is amateurish, but also because the film itself seemed like it was someone's first attempt at putting a film together.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Dream House is clearly something of a wreck, yet watching the film provides glimpses of the better film the project might have been.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Dream House is not the film it was advertised as, but beyond the wonky finale, reshoots, and strange editing there is an interesting tale to be told here.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
It's little surprise that Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz disowned this turgid, woefully inept thriller which idiotically gave away its big reveal in the trailer.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
This is the kind of thing that happens when there is a squabble about who controls a movie. Director Jim Sheridan bickered with studio over how scenes in this thriller should be shot, and scenes were redone after test audiences reacted negatively.
Linda Cook - KWQC-TV (Iowa)
This is one property you'd do well to stay away from.
James White - SFX Magazine
It's daft and nonsensical. But it's that silliness and the sheer calibre of cast that ensure this has a certain car-crash watchability about it.
David Aldridge - Radio Times
Disappears up its own fundamental implausibility.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
The fragile hope that we might have a grown-up horror movie on our hands is smashed to smithereens.
- This is London
This is a workmanlike movie that is never quite scary enough, and never quite ingenious enough, though the four leads do an honest enough job.
An intriguing twist livens things up midday way but the mood is almost oppressively melancholy and the plot doesn't stack up.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
Weisz and Watts are badly served by two dimensional roles and Koteas's part in the big picture is laughably obvious.
- Liverpool Echo
- Empire Magazine
Crowbarred into the standard haunted house chills is a supposed twist that feels like Shutter Island written for drunk people.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
A disappointing psychological thriller that's had all its noteworthy twists completely ruined by its trailer.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
An utter waste of time and talent.
Adam Woodward - Little White Lies
The film eventually descends into such violin-fuelled melodrama that it becomes a convoluted alternative to Kenneth Branagh's Dead Again.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
The premise may err on the daft side but it's played with conviction and an atmosphere of bleak dread is carefully evoked if not maintained until the final credits.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
A well-acted but ramshackle mess.
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
Like most of its ilk, this starts off nicely but doesn't hold up to close rational scrutiny.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
There's an intriguing idea here, but this thriller feels like it has been compromised in the test-screening phase, resulting in a badly muddled plot.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Misdirection might be a good word to describe this psychological thriller whose twist will either delight or annoy audiences. Give it credit for the surprise.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
...the incongruously over-the-top finale only confirm[s] the film's place as a hopelessly misguided piece of work.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
'Dream House' attempts to answer a question no one was asking. How long can a twist ending last? After the reveal, it's just a weird waste of time.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
- Dark Horizons
- Austin Chronicle
Between its tell-all trailer and its tell-all poster, there's not much to tell about Dream House except that it's a crushing disappointment considering all the Herculean talent on display.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
This film is a confounding mess despite its impressive cast and director.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
It's not a bad movie, but it's been undone by incredibly stupid marketing.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The movie tries to generate suspense where none exists; creepy music and clanging metal sound effects play over top of scenes where nothing is happening.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Abruptly shifts midway from half-hearted haunted-house chills to sub-Hitchcock mind games.
Ann Lewinson - Boston Phoenix
I want to defend Dream House, but it's just -- well, kind of indefensible.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Dream House offers poignant look at madness.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
A completely ineffective and in no particular way incompetent movie that has absolutely no excuse not to be very good.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Starts out with an interesting premise but then the whole thing just falls apart.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
a rather lumbering vehicle that runs primarily on formula and (pseudo)psychological ploys that we have seen too many times at this point to warrant much excitement.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Some scripts should never be made into movies. This is one of them.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Clearly it's one of those movies being dumped in September, but thanks to the cast, I was never bored.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
The real mystery here is how this mess of a movie got such a stellar cast.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
If you took `The Shining' and removed its diamond-hard aura of Kubrickian malice, most of the frights and almost all of the square footage, you'd have `Dream House.'
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The film's ambitions are woefully small and familiar.
Tasha Robinson - AV Club
Dream House denies us even the most modest horror movie pleasures, as part of its fiendish scheme to bore the audience to death.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
The accumulating weirdness never becomes all-pervasive eerieness, much less terror, though Craig gives Will's descent into confused madness a raw and potent edge of despair
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Hard to believe such a hokey, stupid film could attract so much talent.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
A suspense thriller that's neither thrilling nor suspenseful.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
More like a narrative nightmare...just lays there on the screen, attractive to look at but horribly sluggish and, in the end, almost criminally stupid.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
... one of those neither/nor concoctions that usually results when a non-genre director goes slumming ... Sheridan's first fright film, when not outright hilarious, is neither chilling nor compelling.
Glenn Lovell - CinemaDope
Tiresome and tedious, it's destined to foreclosure.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Dream House crossed a new line. It literally lays out every plot twist in the first 80 minutes of the movie during the main theatrical trailer.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
This is one 'House' that should be pulled from the market as soon as possible. (Movie Review for Parents also available)
Teddy Durgin - Screen It!
It's possible to see, somewhere in the fabric of this weird, overwrought misfire, that a good movie might once have been possible.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
In the end, it feels like an honorable attempt that went wrong somewhere. There's nothing cynical or exploitative about Dream House but there's also nothing that makes it worth seeing.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Dream House is a psychological thriller with a real mystery at its core: What the heck happened here?
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
So misbegotten and awkward that one has to assume there was some serious after-the-fact tampering by a committee of lunatics.
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Director Jim Sheridan and his actors make you believe in it.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
The only thing it haunts you with is: What the heck happened to Jim Sheridan?
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Without Jim Sheridan's empathetic touch, Dream House would have likely been a total waste.
Rob Humanick - Slant Magazine
Seems actively designed to ward off any bad vibes. If this story was told around a campfire, s'mores would be thrown.
Andrew Wright - The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
The premise and the execution hold a lot of promise, but the film's climactic reveal will be incredibly obvious to anyone paying even the slightest amount of attention.
dead - internally, externally, and scare-wise
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Despite starting off as an intelligent, realistic treatment of the traditional haunted-house thriller, the movie gets progressively more ludicrous as it goes along.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
It's an awful movie, but there's enough evidence left in this patchwork quilt version to suggest at least a faint amount of genuine filmmaking existed here at one point. Or maybe that's just my mind playing tricks on me.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
It's impossible to discuss the layers of stupidity in Dream House without ruining the ludicrous turns not already covered in the trailer.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
'Dream House' is another one of those slow-stepping snoozers that forgets scares, suspense, drama and pacing.
Brad Miska - Bloody Disgusting
A tepid, excitement-free Hallmark telepic dressed up in an A-list thriller's clothing.