Genre buddy and fellow root canal survivor Rob Hunter came to my aid this week when it was time for title selection. I was stupidly about to put in The Wild Hunt, which has something to do with LARPing and virgins or something, when the Foreign Objects author suggested I try something a little more sub-titled.
Dream Home is the story about the American dream taking place in Hong Kong. Young Cheng Lai-sheung (Josie Ho) is a phone representative for a bank in Hong Kong and all she wants out of life is a nice flat with a view of the ocean for her ailing grandfather to live in. She’ll stop at nothing to get that home, from scraping together every penny and working two extra jobs. After raising enough capital to buy into the flat, the sellers decide to ask for more money and Cheng reacts completely reasonably. For a psychopath.
If you thought people made a killing in real estate, you’ve had no idea until you’ve seen this film! Puns are fun! No but seriously a lot of people die in this movie. Like thirteen of them.
Hunter promised me gore and director Ho-Cheung Pang delivers the gory stuff. The first kill is an uncomfortable, harrowing death by zip-tie strangulation and a razor blood. It’s bloody and intense and sets the movie off in the right direction immediately. Later we get a broken nose, a screwdriver through the eye, some disgusting miscarriage fluids, a couple of suffocations, some severed fingers, an amazing disembowelment, gun shots, and a lot of stabby-stabby.
We’re initially teased with a little pornography on television and things look bleak – until we get to see some passed out sweater puppies, some doggy-style banging, male and female butts, a lesbian kiss, an unseen blowjob, and a lady who is kind of enough to be on screen naked for like three minutes solid.
Real estate is serious business.
Dream Home had its hooks in me right from the start with a fantastic kill. It’s so good you wonder how the film will ever top it and the next few kills are good, but not nearly as good as the first. You’re pretty sure they blew their horror load right up front, but then the movie decides to just go guts-out dicks-off crazy for the climax.
The gore in the flick is pretty fantastic – there are tons of great practical effects, from guts to prosthetics, blood and stabbings. There are some CGI sweeteners here and there, which are noticeable but not too bad. There is one bit of CGI towards the end that sticks out in a negative way – but only compared to the rest of the film. It’s good as far as CGI goes, but definitely sticks out after we see so many great practical effects.
Visually, the film is beautiful, the colors are mostly bright and vibrant and it looks great. Pang does play with focus a few times throughout the film and it felt pretty distracting. It may have been digital focus shifts inserted for variety at least a few of the times. It didn’t really work, but it by no means ruins the experience.
Cheng’s character is very well done. She handles a lot of emotion in the film, from being sad to being stabby. Really stabby. She gets to play coy most of the film, but after a little psychotic break she turns into a dedicated terminator of renters and it’s awesome. Her transformation at the climax of the film is pretty phenomenal. The look of contentment on her face makes you want to kiss her, except that what’s brought great joy to her life involved a whole lot of knives and zip-ties.
Dream Home drags for a touch when exploring Cheng’s younger life, but it ultimately is a very satisfying and very bloody experience. Well shot, with a strong central performance, and tons of excellent gore, this is one Netflix Instant title you should check out.
Also that German DVD cover image I used has almost nothing to do with the film but would you look at that for crying out loud? That is awesome!