Pete’s Peek | The stomach churning Dream Home makes gazumping the deadliest game to play

Set in a city where property development is the economy’s driving force, this Hong Kong horror satire is chillingly realistic.

Canto pop singer and one of Asia’s hottest stars Josie Ho takes the title role of thirty something Cheng Li-sheung who is pushing herself to the limit working a number of jobs in a bid to save up for her ideal home. But this is not your average apartment – it’s a swanky pad in a waterfront tower complex built on property that Cheng’s family were forced to leave a decade earlier. When Cheng finds herself gazumped by the current owners wanting to raise the asking price, the obsessed woman goes on a bloody, brutal killing spree in the tower block slaughtering anyone who gets in her way.

Ho is totally believable as the hard-working Cheng driven over the edge trying to honour a promise to her late mother while looking after her invalid father. On the night of her murderous rampage, Cheng’s story is told in flashback. It’s a technique that takes time to get used to, but it’s worth the effort.

Dream Home is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The orgy of violence really does test you: a pregnant woman is suffocated in plastic (too extreme for me); her adulterous husband gets an iron in the head; while a group of party kids get hammered, slashed and impaled. It’s unflinching and downright stomach churning, but there’s method in all this madness that’s played out in the film’s wry climax.

The mixture of satire and extreme violence may not be too everyone’s taste, but Dream Home is certainly a cut above your average slasher and that’s down to the film’s ripe subject, so perfect for this credit crunch age.

The Network Releasing DVD includes an interview with the film’s star Josie Ho, a gallery of images, and specially commissioned booklet.

Out now

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