Sometimes the house you live in starts to feel like an actual member of the family. Much like only family members know certain secrets or other facts about others they also know the secrets of the house. The particular way to unjam that one door, how the downstairs sink needs to be turned all the way to the left to even get lukewarm water and so on. And if you live in one place long enough you can’t help but feel the house knows your secrets as well since the walls are all that are there to witness some moments or listen to some frustration venting.
A house that is most definitely associated with one family is at the core of the new movie Dream House. The movie stars Daniel Craig as Will Atenton and Rachel Weisz as his wife Libby. It’s difficult to talk too much about the plot without getting into spoiler territory (despite the fact that the campaign does just that) but the essence of is that Craig is on a quest to find out what happened to his family inside the house they used to live in. But he may or may not have played a role in the events he’s trying to uncover, though what role that is exactly isn’t clear.
The first poster certainly makes it clear we’re on freaky ground here. Two girls stand in front of a wall while holding hands, their dresses blending into the wallpaper they’re in front of and making them almost transparent. The only copy on the one-sheet, “Once upon a time there were two little girls lived in a house” is appropriately creepy and tells us we’re on horrific ground here. It’s also more than a little evocative of an iconic image from The Shining, which is probably the point.
The first trailer for the movie starts out by showing us the idyllic life that Peter is leading with his loving wife and two beautiful girls. But when they find some remnants of the family that used to live there things start going a little freaky as messages begin appearing in mirrors and teenagers start warning the house has an ominous past. But then as Peter tries to investigate the family that used to live there he finds out that, well, it’s him. Turns out he’s been in jail after a breakdown following the murder of his family. He goes back to the house to try and sort out what’s real and what’s not but the continued apparitions plague him and make him unsure he can trust his own senses.
The splash page of the movie’s official website is just a repurposing of the poster key art and an opportunity to watch the trailer as well as connect with the movie’s social network profiles.
Once you Enter the Site and view the main menu navigation the first section there is “The Film.” That has subsections including Story, which is a decent synopsis of the film without spoiling any more than the trailer is as well as Production Notes you can download for more information and Cast and Crew profiles where you can check out their film backgrounds.
The “Gallery” has 10 production stills you can view while “Video” has the Trailer as well as two TV Spots to watch. “Downloads” then has Wallpapers and AIM Icons available.
The Facebook page is pretty standard, with videos and photos and updates with press story links and such.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
TV commercials began running earlier this month that weren’t nearly as explicit about showing some of the twists and turns that the story takes but still show clearly that there are creepy things about. The emphasis is clearly on selling a series of jump-cut filled “moments” though my suspicion is that the movie is a little more deliberately dramatic than that. But it actually winds up selling the movie a tad more strongly than the trailer does, possibly because it has to rely on showing the actors having “moments” as opposed to laying out the story quite as clearly.
Media and Publicity
Surprisingly nothing here that I’ve seen. There’s been some general buzz around the movie and conversations when new marketing material is released but that’s about it and nothing in the way of major industry press, at least none that’s crossed my radar.
It’s not bad and, even as a confirmed non-horror guy I’m kind of intrigued by the campaign, at least enough to be curious about the movie itself. The hope, I’m guessing, is that the majority of the general audience – who also might not be such confirmed horror fans – feel likewise and give the movie a chance during its early fall release.
As I’ve mentioned a couple times the trailer and the rest of the materials kind of lean into spoiler territory but there’s been some conversations about how even the trailer doesn’t really show the movie’s biggest twist, and what is shown happens fairly early. But it still *feels* like there’s a lot given away here in an effort to bring people into a movie they might otherwise not be interested in. How much of all that is true remains to be seen.