Shouldn't a film's advertising be a delectable tease of what's to come, a means of getting people into theaters by the suggestion of what it has to offer rather than a rundown of virtually every plot point it contains? The theatrical trailer for "Dream House" was one of those egregious examples of overselling a product to the point where it felt like a two-and-a-half-minute encapsulation of a whole 90-minute picture. Why bother paying for a movie that a consumer feels as if he or she has already seen? Sure enough, having sat through "Dream House," Universal Pictures has some explaining to do. The balancing act between what is and isn't disclosed to the main character and audience is carefully and painstakingly set up by director Jim Sheridan (2009's "Brothers") like a house of cards, and for what? If this film were "The Sixth Sense," people would be walking in already knowing that Bruce Willis is, well, you know. Comparisons to that chilling, heartbreaking 1999 M. Night Shyamalan classic will have to end there, unfortunately. Not knowing ahead of time where things were going may have added some intrigue to the front half, but it wouldn't have solved the movie's deeper fundamental issues. Overly familiar and rather dull, this is a tepid, excitement-free Hallmark telepic dressed up in an A-list thriller's clothing.
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