An offal-festooned excursion into the exorbitant world of Hong Kong’s overpriced property market may not sound like the most engaging cinematic subject matter; however, Dream Home is a surprisingly entertaining curiosity, albeit one which leaves you feeling sorely in need of a cleansing bath after watching.
The fatuous plot sees Josie Ho’s bedraggled corporate toiler work several menial jobs to fulfil her childhood dream of owning an apartment overlooking the region’s famous Victoria Harbour. Creeping property prices ensure that her dream home remains forever out of reach, so she grabs a hammer and starts in on some Oldboy-esque ultraviolent negotiation (giving us the sumptuous tagline “they wouldn’t slash the price, so she slashed them up!”).
Yes, the film’s content is ‘adult’ enough to potentially drive even the most liberal of viewers to a frothy-mouthed puritanical rampage worthy of Mary Whitehouse herself; roadside fellatio, jugular-jousting bongs and suffocation induced by a diabolic combination of a hoover and plastic bag are just some of the arrestingly unpleasant spectacles on offer in this depraved parade of insanity; and yet despite this threatening to alienate any non-deviant audience members, proceedings remain consistently watchable.
This can mostly be attributed to Ho’s sympathetic performance, convincing as both a shy, overworked young woman struggling to look after her ailing father and raise the funds for the titular residence and a cold-blooded maniac with a line in disembowelment and casual phallus lopping. Nonetheless, the film’s pacing suffers at times due to a haphazard chronological structure jarringly jumping between different time periods, and occasionally side trips into irrelevance, such as the extended sequence focusing on a trio of coke-fuelled sex pests.
Dream Home is a highly original slice of ludicrously lurid Asian cinema with a clever premise and impressive SFX, but those who don’t appreciate lengthy sequences involving miscarriages or garrottings should avoid.