Hong Kong horror Dream Home (2010) tells the story of single professional Cheng Li-sheung (Josie Ho), who grows up in an area that isn’t worth a great amount, with dreams and hopes of one day owning a harbour-view apartment. Despite working two jobs and countless hours, the dream always seems just out of reach.
However, through pure dedication, perseverance and hard work (and some slightly dodgy deals), she finally gets the money together. Unfortunately for Cheng, the housing market crashes and the owners of her must-have home hike the asking price up out of her reach. So, how can one lady get the price of a harbour-view apartment to come crashing down? She goes on a murderous rampage.
Director Ho-Cheung Pang said in an interview upon the film’s release that, “if Hong Kong is an island surrounded by sea and harbours, why is the price of a sea and harbour view apartment so damn high?” and that satirical thought process carries over into this ultra-violent gore fest. The underlying themes of one persons struggle to keep their head above financial waters will resonate with many people in the UK who are trying to buy a home – however I do hope that those who connect with this film on that level don’t go to the lengths that our protagonist does.
At the end of the day, Cheng is not a sympathetic character. She is someone who is obsessed with one goal in life and she takes that obsession to horrific levels. This method of inter-splicing the flashbacks with the slashing spree does break the action somewhat and it gives the audience a moment to breathe, but it’s never resolved to a point where Cheng’s actions are justifiable – which is where the film falls down.