We were legitimately looking forward to "Dream House." A quality cast (Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts), a big-name director due for a return to glory (Jim Sheridan, presumably still reeling from starting 50 Cent out on his movie star journey) and a time-tested haunted house premise. When we listed the movies left in 2011 we were looking forward to last week, "Dream House" was right on top of the list. Signs pointed to good, or at least promising. So why in the world will be inducting it into The Projector's Please Ignore Our Terrible Movie club next week?
That's right: In an odd move, to say the least, Universal Pictures has confirmed that they won't be showing "Dream House" early for critics, which, as we've well established, almost certainly means it stinks. So what gives? 24 Frames is as baffled as we are. Sure, the movie was delayed from last February, but that was supposedly because of "weather-related reshoots." (Imagine how much trouble they'd have had had they called the movie "Dream Outdoors?") We wanted to give the movie the benefit of the doubt; maybe there's just some crazy plot twist they want to make sure they don't ruin? Maybe? We're hopeful. But a big big big red flag just went up.
(Here's our regular disclaimer: You shouldn't, and surely don't, care whether a film critic's life is inconvenienced by a film studio not showing a film early. Lord knows we have it cushy enough already. You should care, though, that not showing a film early to critics is a sure-fire sign that the studio is trying to hide the film from the public as long as possible, so that you might be more likely to be suckered into buying a ticket to a movie they know stinks. This is simply a public service!)
By the way, this is not a formal induction in The Projector's Please Ignore Our Terrible Movie club. That'll come next week, once it's officially official. Considering it's looking like TriStar's "Courageous" is gonna skip the critics too, looks like it'll have company.