Dream Home

Dream Home


Reviewed by: James Benefield

Home owners beware. In Dream Home, we see the lengths an individual is willing to go just to secure that ideal place in that perfect location. And when this quest involves the removal of intestines, brain-sucking vacuum cleaners and aided miscarriage, you know there's some pretty heavy-handed social satire involved. That, and you're dealing with an anti-hero in a post-Ichi the Killer slice of Asian horror.

This anti-hero is Cheng (Josie Ho). She works two rather soul-draining jobs. She's also been saving every last penny to buy property in Hong Kong, which happens to be one of the most expensive places for land in the world. Clearly bored of having little social life and not going on holiday for years, she decides to beat the market at its own game - by physically beating the market. Problem is she gets a thirst for murder, and any target will do.

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The first thing to note here is the banality of the film's self-indulgence. The incessant lingering of the camera on bursting jugulars is not only cruel and unusual punishment for the victims of the screen violence. And 45 minutes in when we've had everything from a voyeuristic lesbian sex scene to a glass in the neck, you wonder if some of the murder victims got off lightly. It's pretty torturous stuff.

Thankfully, Ho makes a likeable presence as the murderess. She injects some pathos into proceedings and manages to eek the one-joke high concept out for as long as possible. However, after this 20 or so minutes, you wonder why she bothered.

And while the richness and depth of the cinematography makes the film looks a million dollars (perhaps emulating some of the cheapest Hong Kong property prices), that's where the quality begins and ends. Any social satire stops at a slack-jawed, vacuous drawl of 'you have to be crazy to want to get a house in Hong Kong'. And proceedings are about as scary as a chartered surveyor. Finding the right house can be murder, but so can watching a seriously bad horror film.

Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2010
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Trying to get your ideal home can be murder.
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Director: Pang Ho-Cheung

Writer: Pang Ho-Cheung, Kwok Cheung Tsang, Wan Chi-Man

Starring: Josie Ho, Eason Chan, Derek Tsang, Lawrence Chou, Juno Mak

Year: 2010

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Hong Kong

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