Josie Ho in Dream Home (2010)

Getting the Dream is a Nightmare

Cheng Lai-Sheung (Josie Ho) has worked hard for a long time; selling loans during the day and then going to do her second job in the evening rather than going out and enjoying herself. Why? So she can save every penny she can so that she can buy her dream home in Hong King's Victoria Harbour. Having scrimped and saved she finally has enough money for a deposit but that is when the owner upsets her by deciding to increase the asking price. Angered she suits up with a selection of tools and goes on a killing spree so that she can have her dream home. But killing brings out a strange and unexpected desire.

Be warned "Dream Home" does not hold back and opens with a graphic scene of someone being strangled using a cable tie which ends up in blood spurting everywhere as the victim tries to cut the plastic tie digging in to their neck with a stanley knife. And so it goes on because "Dream Home" is a full on graphic horror movie which revels in the gore of this woman who will kill to get what she wants. In fact it revels in all sorts of things with sex scenes and basically the whole horror works. At times it is maybe a little too graphic for some but it is also brave in how far it is willing to go and whilst I found some of it too graphic I also found some of it surprisingly creative.

Part of that bravery comes from that there is more to "Dream Home" than just mindless violence although at times you wonder. That more is showing the difficulties in the housing market in Hong Kong and how hard it is for a young person to get their foot on the property ladder due to how much they earn compared to house prices and how people move the goal posts the whole time.

But whilst there is that deeper side which you start to become aware of after the first 20 minutes it is the violence which grabs you and the icy performance from Josie Ho as Cheng Lai-Sheung. It is kind of unsettling as on one hand she makes her seem so ordinary, such a nice hard working woman doing all she can to get her own piece of property the right way, but then we see the cold, killer side of her a side which enjoys what she does and is unafraid when she enters a room to murder someone with whatever comes to hand.

What this all boils down to is that "Dream Home" whilst having some depth is more full on slasher movie which doesn't shy away from showing graphic violence and some of it is strangely ingenious if unsettling.