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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Dream House

By
Joseph McAleer
Source: Catholic News Service


Daniel Craig stars in a scene from the movie "Dream House."
Don't expect a remake of the 1948 comedy classic "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" when you see the current "Dream House" (Universal). While this film does feature a happy family and a real fixer-upper, the comparisons end there.

Director Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot," "Brothers") offers a traditional Gothic horror feature as well as a clever psychological thriller that will have you wondering what's real and what's make-believe. But the level of gory mayhem that accompanies his storytelling severely restricts the movie's appropriate audience.

Instead of Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, we have Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz. They portray Will and Libby Atenton, who have ditched the big city for the pastoral calm of Connecticut and the perfect house in which to raise their two small daughters.

Trouble is, there's precious little peace and quiet. It's the dead of winter, the wind is howling, and the old house makes a lot of strange, scary noises. The neighbors are nosy and suspicious—in particular, Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts), who lives across the road.

Everyone's whispering about what happened in that house five years ago. The Atentons' 5-year-old daughter repeats what she's overheard: "Everyone who lives in this house gets killed."

And how: The real estate agent neglected to tell the Atentons about the previous owner, Peter Ward, who gunned down his wife and two daughters in cold blood.

Will seeks answers to what really happened, and heads for the local psychiatric institution. There he learns that Peter Ward has just been released—and that he looks an awful lot like Will.

The line between reality and the world of dreams blurs intriguingly as "Dream House" barrels along to a fiery conclusion.

The film contains scenes of bloody violence and terror, brief nongraphic marital lovemaking, and some profanity. The Catholic News Service classification is L—limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
Joseph McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.



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George: If Mary Magdalene was the victim of misunderstanding, George is the object of a vast amount of imagination. There is every reason to believe that he was a real martyr who suffered at Lydda in Palestine, probably before the time of Constantine. The Church adheres to his memory, but not to the legends surrounding his life. 
<p>That he was willing to pay the supreme price to follow Christ is what the Church believes. And it is enough.</p><p></p><p>The story of George's slaying the dragon, rescuing the king's daughter and converting Libya is a 12th-century Italian fable. George was a favorite patron saint of crusaders, as well as of Eastern soldiers in earlier times. He is a patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Catalonia, Genoa and Venice.</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus was equal to the Father but did not feel it was below his dignity to obey. We cannot be free unless we are able to surrender our will freely to the will of God. We must obey with full freedom in a spirit of unity and submission and through wholehearted free service to Christ.

 
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