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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
Opinion Editor

My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Sheridan delivers a striking mystery

Irish-born director Jim Sheridan has returned to the screen with his first film since 2009s heavy hitting psychological drama, “Brothers.”

I was thoroughly impressed with the effectiveness of that movie, so when I heard that Sheridan had penned Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts for his “Dream House,” I didn’t see any way this project could go wrong.

And yet, as I made my way out of the theater, I heard a handful of people saying, “Well, that wasn’t very scary. I expected more.” To the latter, I would have to agree. The trailers strongly imply that this is a horror movie.

The fact that it was released in the beginning of October doesn’t really help either. Yet, I think that many of this film’s critics came to the theater with certain expectations, and because of that, they couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

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“Dream House” follows the life of Will Atenton (Craig), a big wig editor who takes a leap of faith, quitting his job to spend more time with his wife, Libby (Weisz), and their two daughters. He buys a quaint little house in what appears to be a quiet suburb and begins to concentrate on writing his first novel.
His life seems perfect, if only for a moment. Their perfect home has a shadow cast over it when the family becomes aware that there was another family murdered in their home five years earlier.
Ordinarily, I might give a spoiler alert here. However, the trailer reveals so much of the story that I don’t feel a disclaimer is necessary.

The more that Atenton digs into the history of the home’s previous residents, the more he finds that he is much closer to the situation than he could’ve ever imagined. In fact, he may even be responsible.

Within the first 15 minutes of “Dream House,” the story begins to feel a bit like a “who dun it” type of story. However, there are so few actual characters in the story that the possibilities are pretty limited. Despite that fact, the director still manages to keep the audience guessing right up to the bitter end.

One of the strongest qualities this movie has going for it is the element of mystery. There are many little elements to the story, like the police just blowing off Atenton’s family when they need help, that cause the viewer to wonder what really went on in that house.

I find it difficult to call this movie a Hollywood cliché, because I think the tendency with films of this type is to try to overcomplicate the plot beyond recognition. This movie kept things very simple. At no point did I feel confused or lost.

The story and the cinematography meshed very well together. The imagery right from the beginning of the film was very clean, and painted a picture of Atenton’s literal dream house.

At the same time, the camera work seemed very succinct, which helped to keep viewers engaged in the story.

Rightfully so, this movie is sure to be compared to dozens of other movies, like “Shutter Island,” “The Sixth Sense” and even “Ghost.” But even while this movie is clearly an act of fiction, there is a certain believability to the characters involved.

I’m sure that the great performances by Craig and Weisz contribute to that. Off-screen, the pair is married. I would imagine that made creating on-screen chemistry between the two much easier.

Nonetheless, Craig is extremely convincing in his role, but he looks like a natural in just about any acting job he’s been given.

Although most critics seem to disagree with me, I found “Dream House” to be a success.

Having seen Sheridan’s past work, I didn’t expect this to be a horror film, even after I watched the trailer. I guess I wasn’t sure what I expected; maybe that’s what allowed me to enjoy this movie. It didn’t try to do more than it was capable of and it was beautifully directed.

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