Dream Home, the newest film from Hong Kong filmmaker Ho Cheung Pang (You Shoot, I Shoot, Love in a Puff) is going to be a treat for those looking for good old fashioned gore with their horror flix.
Cheng Li-sheung (a fierce Josie Ho) is like many other young women: she is anxious to find her first home to purchase. She wants to set up the perfect nest and go forward with her life. She is sick of apartment life. She is ambitious, smart and has her “eyes on the prize”, if you will.
She finds the perfect place. It feels right in every way and she makes her deal. In a situation many in today’s recession can relate too, her deal falls through. Hong Kong is facing a housing market crisis and just as her dreams rise, they suddenly crash.
But, Cheng is not one to just give up. And her desire for her dream home is going to result in some real loss: and not just of the monetary variety. Her desire can be counted in pints of blood, a significant body count, and probably the most unique uses of a vacuum cleaner this viewer has ever seen.
Through research, I learned a lot about the real estate market in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong property market is completely “overheated” and has left the private housing market severely unaffordable. This trend is expected to continue for the next 20 years,
Based on the housing needs of Hong Kong’s demographics, the government should be providing enough land for about 22,000 per year for the next five to ten years. But, it is failing to do that: in a very big way.
So, the market is overpriced and properties are far and few between, with nothing new hitting the market. I know you probably didn’t expect to get a lesson in Hong Kong real estate when you started reading this review, but it does put the situation that Cheng and her neighbors find themselves in a relevant perspective. Well, I am not sure any failing real estate market should drive someone to the point that Cheng is driven to. But, it sure is fun watching her explode in a ball of fury.
Josie Ho as Cheng is a revelation. I noticed her work first in a fantastic film by the legendary director Johnnie To entitled Exiled (Add it to your Netflix queue fast, readers). Her veracity and intensity in this movie is something to behold.
The direction by Ho Cheung Pang is also impressive. The film is nicely paced and he is successful in creating the perfect tension for the characters to implode in the manner in which they do.
The cinematography by Nelson Yu Lik-wai (Still Life, The World) is fantastic. He captures Cheng’s violence and wrath with the eye of a painter. You have never seen violence look this sumptuous before.
Do what you can to catch this film. It is currently in theaters and “on demand”. It’s a nail biting, blood stained good time.