Written and Directed by Dennis Colligan
Starring Jeff Hansen and Janni Hansen
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
As Shakesphere once said ‘’to sleep, perchance to dream’’ which is all very well and good as long as your dreams are a pleasant experience and you’re not dreaming of giant snails sliming all over you and your possessions until life becomes a cleaning nightmare...or maybe that’s just what I dream of.
Many a film in the past has explored the idea of losing ourselves within our dreams, or to be more precise, to experience lucid dreaming, Inception, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and of course the super obvious Nightmare on Elm Street series.
But despite the saturation of the market when exploring dreams in film, each has something new to offer its audience and so when I was presented with Dennis Colligan’s short film House of Dreams, I was excited to see what angle he had chosen to explore...and were there to be any massive snails?
House of Dreams is the story of a middle-aged man, played by Jeff Hansen, who is losing grip on reality as his dream world and waking world begin to collide, and while that is not inconvenient enough, his dreams cause him to explore a darker side of himself, despite his resistance. The line between reality and dreams becomes blurred as he delves more and more into the darkness that is within him and loses the grip on his personal goodness.
Colligan explores his art house desires with this short, entirely in black and white and using an array of different angles to create a dreamy and surreal environment for the audience to get lost in.
The story is guided by the internal dialogue of our main character, which is an important addition as House of Dreams has little character interaction or even a strong narrative arc to keep the viewer on track.
But this is not to say that House of Dreams is a bad movie, far from it, these choices are what make the film so successful in pulling the viewer into a lucid dream state of mind, understanding the exploration of another’s internal thoughts, desires, as well as the struggle that he is facing.
If you’re not into artistic cinema then House of Dreams is quiet simply not for you, you’re going to get bored and ask what the feck is going on most of the time, but if you’re into a bit of art house on your Friday nights in, then this piece is one not to be missed.