Dream Home (2010)
Director: Ho-Cheung Pang
Writers: Ho-Cheung Pang
Josie Ho ... Cheng Lai - Sheung
Eason Chan ... Siu To
Michelle Ye ... Flat 8A Female Owner
Norman Chu ... Sheung's Father
Kwok Cheung Tsang
Lawrence Chou ... On Jai
Juno Mak ... Cop Fat
Hee Ching Paw ... Sheung's Mother
Josie Ho has a dream. She wants to buy a condo with a seaside view. But real estate in Hong Kong is a tad expensive. She’s had to work hard to save up enough cash but it looks as if her struggles are going to be rewarded with a new ocean front condo. Alas, it is not to be. The seller’s greed has raised the price and Josie cannot afford her dream home. What’s a despondent buyer to do? Kill them all of course.
“Dream Home” is a tale of Hong Kong real estate, greed, and the massacres they inevitably provoke. Josie’s life has been a tough one. She’s had to take care of her sick dad and then lament the fact that his life saving operation won’t be covered by insurance. She also had to contend with the man she was having an affair with actually having the gall to go back to his pregnant wife. What is this world coming to when a man won’t be faithful to his mistress? This will not do.
Josie’s life is full of stress and she needs to find a way to blow off a little steam. The perfect release from all of these real world problems is homicidal vengeance. Josie stalks her lover’s wife and attacks. The fact that the woman is pregnant means nothing to Josie. Her moral compass has broken but her aptitude for extreme violence is surprisingly high. In an ingenious move, Josie sticks a vacuum space bag over the pregnant woman’s head and sucks all of the air out of her body. Hell hath no fury, etc.
This violent episode turns out to be a training ground for Josie’s true targets: The scum who have stolen Josie’s dream home by actually living in it. Once Josie sets her sights on the dream home’s occupants, the movie becomes a long splatter episode as they all have to pay dearly for stealing Josie’s dream.
“Dream Home” is an interesting splatter flick. Frankly, it had a little more plot than I was expecting from a Category III movie. Did I really need to see scenes of a young Josie talking to her friend via the two cups and a string device? I would argue no. There is only so much set-up needed to get to the splatter highlights. This is not a parable which instructs us on the folly of the real estate market. This is a horror flick pretending that it’s teaching a lesson. Those pesky censors always fall for a supposed moral lesson.
But “Dream Home” has some violent content which satisfied me. It also didn’t hurt that Josie Ho looked good hacking and slashing her way across Hong Kong. I only hope that the Category III flick makes a comeback in HK cinema. That would be my dream. I won’t go homicidal if it doesn’t come true but I’d be upset.
SCORE: 3 out of 4 jilted Josies