Thursday, 24 February 2011

Dream Home / Wai dor lei ah yut ho

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Dir: Pang Ho-Cheung (Love in a Puff, Por see yee )
Cast: Josie Ho, Michelle Ye, Norman Chu
Hong Kong, 2010

Reason to see: I'm always up for horror

Set in 2007 Hong Kong and following Cheng Lai-Sheung (Josie Ho), a hard-working women who hold down two jobs and dreams of fulfilling a promise to her family of buying a place to live with a view of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. As time moves on we wonder if this is it a dream, or if it a debt? Is this a goal, or an obsession? The energy and actions expending on keeping the promise of this goal takes up all of Cheng Lai-Sheung time, energy and is clearly the driving factor in all of her choices.

That paints a pretty serious picture of the film, and at times I was taking it pretty seriously especially as the back story is continually referenced. That being said, the guts of the films is really about extreme and violent lengths that Cheng Lai-Sheung is willing to go to get there. And boy, are they some pretty drastic lengths that know no bounds. The violence here is extreme on all levels from idea, to execution to duration. The intensity of the violence is way up there, and has the energy of a vengeance film but the precision of following a hit-man or hit-woman. Even for die-hard horror fans, this film is a button pusher and it certainly had me cringing in my seat and wondering just how far they would go. Then they not only went that far, but went further. Blood, guts, tools, implements, found objects ... you name it, it was a bloody, gory, extreme and lengthy showdown.

The film maintains a melancholy of hopelessness of driving an upward battle throughout the dramatic storytelling, however it feels clear that this is really a film that is pushing the limits and takes the violence to extreme levels that at times is horrific and other times comical. I kept feeling like I should, but didn't, sympathize Cheng Lai-Sheung.

I think as an extreme horror film it certainly fills out in all the right places, has fantastic production values and is gorgeously shot. As an added bonus spins a bitter web on the effects of the tunnel vision of holding to a dream that might be better to just let go.

Warnings: extreme violence, gore

The critically acclaimed film DREAM HOME will be available

Dream Home is available in select theatres as February, 2011 and On Demand on IFC Midnight Channels.

See more information about Dream Home, IFC on Demand and IFC Midnight Films.

Shannon's Overall View:
I was astonished by the extremeness of it
I'm not sure I could sit through it again
I'd recommend it hard core horror fans of the gore & terror variety

See also: All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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3 comments:

Suzie Ridler said...

As someone who is no longer sure of the benefits of home ownership but lived for years dreaming about it... the general idea of this story interests me but the violence? Not so much. I wonder if it is a critique on the obsessing of home ownership? If so, it sounds as though it is being taken the the extreme. Fascinating though, thanks for letting us know about it Shannon!

CS said...

After reading your review, I am extremely intrigued by this film. Is it playing in Toronto? Or is it one of those films that we have to wait for on DVD? Either way it is now on the "must see list" for me

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I think it mixes the idea of obsession ownership with horror genre to create the most extreme of extremeness, Suzie.

It's available On Demand and in some theatres in the States, but I think for Canucks we have to wait til DVD.

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