Dream Home (2010)
(18) Running Time: 94 minutes
Director: Ho-Cheung Pang
Writer: Ho-Cheung Pang
Starring: Josie Ho, Eason Chan, Michelle Ye
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
On Blu-Ray from 25th May 2015
Sheung has found her ‘Dream Home’ and she will stop at nothing to get it. She puts in an offer, at first is is accepted and after putting down a deposit, the owners decide they want more for it, and Sheung’s bank cannot lend her anymore money. Most people would simply give up and look elsewhere, but not Sheung and she has a devious plan in how to bring the price down so that she can afford it. Kill some neighbours, yes, that will work! And so Sheung takes up a third part time job, that of taking out as many of what would have been her new neighbours as possible. Prepare yourself, for this film borders on the ‘how the Hell is this not banned’ category. Now, I have seen a great many sick and disgusting films, and I truly feel I have lived through some of the worst, most depraved shit you are ever likely to see. Not to be modest or anything, but it takes a lot to make me wince or feel the need to look away. Dream Home managed to do just that, hurrah!!
Welcome to your opening scene which gives a pretty good indication of the violence you can expect here. The apartment block security guard is asleep, a hidden person, whom we soon learn is Sheung, dangles one of those plastic cable ties around his neck. You know the sort of ties I mean, the one’s that when pulled tight are impossible to loosen. Well, she gets it around his neck and pulls and the poor bastard chokes, and chokes and chokes. It goes on for ages, his eyes become bloodshot, sweat pours from his head and he falls on the floor, desperate to get lose. Then the real nasty stuff happens, he see’s a stanley blade on the floor and, with Sheung watching in delight, he uses it to attempt to cut the plastic tie off his neck. I will let you imagine what happens next, but it is not something to watch whilst eating dinner! The superb effects are far to brilliantly done, and the violence in this film is painfully realistic. We see people stabbed from behind and witness the blade go right though, a kitchen knife is driven through an ankle, a penis severed, a blank of wood used to simply choke someone to death (you have to see it to believe it), their’s slashings, stranglings, shootings and beatings and all of it looks very very impressive. In fact, there was not one scene of violence which looked fake and when the violence is one screen, like it or not, it is inspiring to watch and the ideas involved are bitterly brutal. There is a strangling scene which involves a plastic bag being tied on someone’s head, tied on with one of those blasted cable ties, and then a hoover is inserted into a connector on the bag which simply sucks the air out and consequently sucks the life out of the victim.
If you are easily offended or have a weak stomach for this sort of thing, then it’s best you stay well clear. If you enjoy watching a good dose of sick violence on screen, you cannot really go wrong with Dream Home. There is a fair amount of nudity in this film too, to put it bluntly, this is an Asian exploitation film through and through, and as with all Asian films, there is some sort of meaning or dig at society in there somewhere. To say this film is simply a complaint about house prices may sound a bit of a cop out, but that does seem to be the main focus. Why one would go to these lengths to get their perfect house is beyond me, but then I do sympathise over the price issue and the fact that someone raising their price just like that could piss you off, but not to these extremes! It makes for essential viewing though, and there is a back story which goes to some lengths to explain how Sheung has ended up in this frame of mind. It enlightens a bit, and the time-lines are cleverly interwoven to give a strong emphasis on her feelings. All in all, take Dream Home with a good pinch of salt (so they say) and don’t get too caught up in the why’s and where’s, just enjoy this sick, depraved little film for it merits, the violence and the sheer craziness of it all.