I did not realise I had watched this 2011 movie before, until it was more than halfway through. Then I decided to watch till the end because I couldn’t exactly remember the ending. By the end of the movie, I still had unanswered questions regarding the story.
Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) is a successful editor of a publishing house who decides to quit his job in Manhattan to relocate to a quaint little town called New Ashford with his wife Libby (Rachel Weisz) and two daughters, 5-year-old Dee Dee (Claire Astin Geare) and 7-year-old Trish (Taylor Geare) to write a novel.
As they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was the murder scene of a mother and her children and the whole town believed it was at the hands of the husband who survived. When Will investigates, he is not sure if he’s starting to see ghosts of if the tragic story involves him. His only clue comes from a mysterious neighbour, Ann Patterson (Naomi Watts), her daughter Chloe (Rachel Fox) and Chloe’s father Jack (Morton Csokas) who is fighting custody issues with Ann.
The haunting puzzle is pieced together as Dee Dee and Trish discover a secret room through the back of a wardrobe door and find items belonging to Katherine and Beatrice Ward, the murdered girls. A group of teeangers also trespassed and vandalised the property in the basement and talked about the murders. Among the scrawls are the words, “Peter Ward. Slaughter house.”
Why did the neighbours not say anything to Will or Libby? Why won’t the police help them? Is Libby actually Elizabeth Ward, and nobody except Will can see her? Is Will really Peter Ward, a psychotic murderer recently released from some institution? Is Will a name he gave to himself (from his number tag of W1-1L-8-10-10)? Did he murder his family 5 years ago?
Why did Ann visit Peter at the lock-up? Why is Ann allowing Will to stay with her when his house is boarded up by the police after the vandalism is reported? Why did Jack tie Ann up? Why did he set the house on fire? Does Ann know the secret of Will and the secret of the murders?
The movie suddenly cuts to a scene where Will/Peter is seen walking along the streets, passing a large bookshop displaying copies of a hardcover bestseller, “Dream House”. I don’t quite get it all. I wish someone can explain it to me.
The only thing I understood was Beethoven’s Fur Elise, which the two sisters (in the movie and in real life) attempt to play on the piano on two occasoions.