Dream Home (Wai dor lei ah yut ho) (2010)

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Dream Home (Wai dor lei ah yut ho) - Victoria Number 1

Dream Home (Wai dor lei ah yut ho) is a Hong Kong horror from director Ho-Cheung Pang and the first feature length movie from the production company of Josie Ho, who also assumes the leading role. The movie is a combination of cultural satire, fun-poking at stereotypes and absurd yet stylish gore. The production values are that of a mainstream movie yet there is no dumbing down on the violence thus providing some brutally shocking slays from the anti-heroine. This makes the movie feel like a superior slasher devoid of the expected trashiness and lame humour.

The dark wit is nourished by the underlying satire of the cultural desire for material things, in this case the perfect apartment, although there is still the presence of the subtle ironies usually more overplayed in the slasher genre. In one scene the punky teenager is giving the sign of the horns and soon can do little else due to the removal of his middle fingers, another scene the previously felating drunk chick meets her demise through something a bit larger and sharper down her throat. These are not blatantly sardonic deaths but the attention to detail is there and the ironies are there if you look closely.

Dream Home makes good use of sound during the prolonged death scenes proving that the deathly silence of suffocation can be just as provoking as a cacophony of wailing and screaming. The soundtrack is underutilised where some jarring music could intensify the havoc but in some ways this adds an element of realism to the proceedings with the director making good use of the music happening in the movie. The focus on the suffering seems reminiscent of Argento's love of drawn out death while the outrageousness of the killing methods and the blood spillage is more comparable to the work of Herschell Gordon Lewis (with the blood in the bong scene conjuring up such comparisons) . Despite the director's lack of a horror filled portfolio his methods seem to be inspired by numerous horror greats.

Having been evicted from her family home at a young age, Cheng Lai-sheung has pursued the dream of owning an apartment with a view of the harbour. Working numerous dead end jobs she hopes to raise enough cash to for the deposit on her ideal apartment for herself and her family.

Finally, when she is within a hairs breadth of owning the home she desires the housing market goes mammaries skyward and her dreams are dashed as the sellers raise the price. It is common knowledge among property owners that buildings are devalued when they have been the scene of a mass murder so the dispatch of some potentially annoying neighbours seems the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone, and if this also involves killing two stoner birds with a big knife then so be it.

The beauty of Dream Home for the horror aficionado is that there are no punches pulled on the slaughter and the overall pointlessness that motivates the ultra-violence shows the demented side of seemingly sane individuals trying to keep up with the standards created by a greed driven society. Any movie taking a chance on the mainstream audience that claims inspiration came from The Story of Riki is definitely a chance taker. This over the top violence is (almost) seamlessly intertwined with the struggles of a poor family fighting to survive the rat-race and certain more privileged members of society who abuse their wealth meeting seemingly justified demises.

This is a brutal slice of violence willing to take that chance on the mainstream combining drama, gore and satire interspersed with some subtle Asian craziness. Dream Home is a high quality horror movie plus a high quality movie outside of the genre with a happy ending that proves that hard work and dedication is the way to make your dreams come true
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies
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