Saturday, 29 October 2011

Film Review: Dream Home (Wai dor lei ah yut ho) - 2010 - Hong Kong.

Dream Home (2010)
Wai dor lei ah yut ho (original title)
96 min - Horror - 19 November 2010 (UK)

Cheng Li-sheung is a young, upwardly mobile professional finally ready to invest in her first home. But when the deal falls through, she is forced to keep her dream alive - even if it means keeping her would-be neighbors dead.

Director: Ho-Cheung Pang
Writers: Ho-Cheung Pang (story), Ho-Cheung Pang (screenplay), and 2 more credits »
Stars: Josie Ho, Eason Chan and Michelle Ye

Nice little Hong Kong horror with a subtle political subtext set just as the banking crisis and financial meltdown created by 20 years of utterly ruthless and depraved self-serving neo-liberalism begins.

This would actually work as a fairly vanilla but enjoyable murder thriller, with some nice strands to the story and background scenes explaining the fairly ordinary if slightly tragic life of the story's sweet, hard-working, lonely and let-down protagonist, Chen Lai-Sheung, very sympathetically acted by Josie Ho, which gives this one a depth not usually found in much of the horror genre.

Chen's dreams are fairly modest. To have a nice job, a nice partner (who isnt already married) and a nice apartment with a view of the sea.

But instead Chen is a white-collar working-class woman trapped in a soul destroying job in a bank call centre selling loans to people who cant afford them, the casual bit-on-the-side for a married man, stiffed wherever she turns by souless corporate greed.

So, learning the lesson that society has taught her, that to succeed you must become ruthless, callous and utterly selfish, she unleashes her desperate and murderous attempt to hold onto her innocent childhood dream of returning to the sea-front property that her family were evicted from by property developers and gangsters 15 years earlier, now hopelessly out of her financial reach.

Once all the normal channels for a first time house buyer have been closed to her, she knows that the only opportunity left to her is by murdering all of her potential neighbours by spectacularly violent and usually very clumsy means in an attempt to devalue the property price for the apartment she has her heart set on.

But the very realistic and eye wateringly gory murder scenes, that managed to even make a jaded old gore hound like me wince at times, mean this one has to stay for the horror buffs only.

Review by J.

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