Having designed and invested all their money into a fully automated house controlled by a computer called Helen, Richard Thornton (Timothy Busfield) is desperate for it to be a success and even moves himself, his wife Laura (Jennifer Dale) and son Michael in (Dan Petronijevic) to be guinea pigs. Their estranged daughter Jenny (Lisa Jakub) also shows up with an ulterior motive as she plans to rob her father. But when it becomes apparent that Helen is out of control and is obsessed with Richard to the point she will attack anyone who she thinks is a threat no one in the house is safe.
I honestly can't believe that "Dream House" was made in 1998 as this feels more like a product of the 80s when people's knowledge of computers allowed for the fear factor to work when it comes to what a computer could be capable of. As such it has to be said that right from the word go "Dream House" faces an uphill battle to work because the set up of a fully automated home with the computer taking over is more comical than frightening especially with things such as what looks like a knife wielding dishwasher. Even with the additional aspect of Richard so desperate for this project to work that he becomes blinkered to the problems at hand fails to make this any more thrilling or entertaining.
That becomes a major problem as "Dream House" is really all about playing on people's fear and when that fear factor fails it has nothing to make up for it. Not only that the look, the technology, the acting and also the dialogue all cause you to struggle not to mock the movie. To put this into context; in a few months time you might find yourself remembering there was a movie about a computer run house which was pretty poor but you will probably struggle to remember any of the details or the names or that it features Lisa Jakub playing a bad girl of sorts.
What this all boils down to is that "Dream House" is not only a poor movie now but even in 1998 it was behind the times as the fear factor of the power of a computer system had been done and no longer had that power. Watched now it is even worse and "Dream House" is the sort of movie which now straddles the entertainingly bad fence.