The Horror Honeys: Slasher Hexmas ~ She'll Kill for Harbor View...

Slasher Hexmas ~ She'll Kill for Harbor View...

A Revenge Honey Slasher Hexmas Review by Linnie

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

My favorite slasher films have always been the ones that are rooted in a grain of truth. Sure, supernatural slashers like Jason and Freddy are a great time, but they don't scare me. But a woman who would murder random tenants of a building to drive down the property value so she can afford a beautiful apartment? That's not only terrifying... it's about as believable as a slasher plot can be, given the housing market in Hong Kong.

So join me for a film that draws no lines in the sand in regards to who it's willing to kill, features one of the most unassuming slashers since Norman Bates, and will inevitably leave you feeling a little worse for wear: Ho-Cheung Pang's Dream Home!

The Story: Cheng Lai-sheung (Josie Ho) has always dreamed of living in one of Hong Kong's many high rise apartments, ever since she was a little girl living in the slums, and intent on moving her ailing father into a nicer place. But when the deal falls through due to a hike in price, Cheng refuses to be deterred. In order to lower the property value of the building, she goes on a random murder spree, taking out whoever she has to in order to move into her dream home.

 If you can handle this shot, then you can probably handle Dream Home...
I have always found that Asian horror is just a step more graphic and uncompromising than anything we see coming out of North America, and Dream Home is no exception. In one particular scene, Cheng attacks a pregnant woman, who's water breaks due to panic, and then suffocates her with a vacuum bag. I would be lying if I said I didn't almost turn the movie off at that this point. There was something even more horrific about watching a woman inflict this kind of violence on a pregnant woman, and as woman on woman violence of this nature is a trigger for me, I struggled with it. But what this scene seeks to prove is Cheng's desperation. She starts off her siege on the building with, relatively speaking, one of the most horrific crimes a woman can commit. So everything else will seem like a cakewalk in comparison, right?

Cheng's crimes only get more graphic from there, but so does her determination. What does this say about her? What does it say about a society as a whole that has allowed the worship of wealth to grow so out of hand, people are willing to murder for the chance to live outside their means? Even as you are aware that Dream Home is, in many ways, just your average slasher, it rises above its B-movie material and copious gore to say something more relevant about both income disparity and the nature of what we assume about women.

Ho-Cheung Pang could not have picked a better actress to play Cheng, as Josie Ho is everything he needed to make this part equal portions sweet, detestable, and sympathetic. Her delicate face and sparkling eyes make you believe she is a woman only driven to her limits by circumstance. But then a sly smile, a vicious stab, and blank stare, all combine to alter those assumptions in an instant. Just who is Cheng really, and was this the person she was meant to be all along?

Dream Home is not the kind of movie you watch for fun. When it's over, you're going to feel like you ran a marathon. But hopefully, you'll also look around wherever it is you live, and appreciate you don't live in a country where people are willing to murder you to lower their rent...


Revenge Honey Rating: 4 dead douchebros out of 5

Dream Home is available via ShudderiTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play
& blu-ray/DVD

Would you kill for the perfect apartment?
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