Ever watch a film that you have never heard of and have that ‘How the hell did I not know about this?’ moment? Such came to me while screening Ho-Cheung Pang’s, Dream Home.
Released originally in 2010, this dark and challenging horror stars Josie Ho as Cheng-Lai Sheung, a young woman looking to invest in her first home in the highly overpriced Asian housing market. Cheng-Lai is desperate to find a home which has a view of the Victoria harbor and her dedication to achieving the means to achieve this goal will lead her down a murderous path of destruction.
Talk about a dream worthy of killing for.
And it is killing that Sheung executes with brute force. Our attention was grabbed during many of the explicitly violent scenes. The opening of a man trying to free himself from a chocking strap was simple, graphic, disturbing and inventive all at the same time. And that is just the beginning. Sheung is determined to fulfill her fantasy and mothers, pregnant women and just about anyone else who gets in her way is destined to find themselves in a pool of blood choking on their last breath.
Ho is alluring and very believable in the role of ambitious killer and the script that surrounds her character is full of humor and darkness that is all too common the balancing act of most horror films that ends up in the cliché safety net.
The final chapters of Dream Home were not as fulfilling as the first half, but little momentum is lost throughout the blood-letting story, which can be described as a social commentary on the state of the housing market and how economic realities require outside thinking to achieve our dreams.
You can be excused if you hadn’t heard of director Ho-Cheung Pang prior to this release. His prior films, which include Love in a Puff, Beyond our Ken and Isabella are hardly memorable entries on his ever-building resume. But Dream Home, might just throw Pang’s name into the bevy of familiarities when discussing slasher films of the past few years.
Over the past two years, I have long discussed or written about the sorry state of horror films. But I might have to take a step back and re-evaluate my harsh criticism. Films such as Dream Home, The Loved Ones and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane represent above average films of the genre that we have either missed, ignored or simply never heard of before. So take our word for it – find Dream Home and enjoy this stylish satire that has tons to offer genre fans.