Comparison between the cut Hongkong DVD (CAT III) by Edko Film Ltd./852 Films and the uncut British DVD (BBFC 18) by Network Releasing.
Since she was a child, Cheng Lai-Sheung (Josie Ho) has dreamt of living in a luxury apartment in Hong Kong with a view of the Victoria Harbour. For this, she works very hard at two jobs and saves every penny in order to get closer to her goal. When she does not get the apartment despite all of her efforts, she brutally kills the residents one by one.
The Different Versions
In October 2010 Dream Home was released in Hongkong on DVD and BluRay. Despite the CAT III rating, it contained the cut version which had also been used for the theatrical release ther. However, the cut scenes are included as bonus on the disc and can therefore be watched seperately. Earlier statements indicated that 30 seconds were missing in comparison to the uncut version, however, just by looking at the bonus material it was easy to guess that it would be more.
On the 28th of March 2011 the first uncut release (except some probably bootlegged Thai and Taiwanese VCDs and DVDs) was for sale in the United Kingdom with a BBFC 18 rating. A first running time comparison confirmed that it is the longest version of the movie. As is often the case with Asian movies, the UK DVD contain the movie with the original audio track and English subtitles.
Pang Ho-Cheung's slasher drama with an infusion of social critique is surely one of the hardest movies of theis genre of the last year. The violent scenes are not in line but interrupted by flashbacks. The viewer follows the protagonist through her childhood into the present and gets to know why she does commits these gruesome murders. This even leads to some understanding or sympathy for her part. The last flashback then makes the circle complete and stops with the beginning of the movie/the first kill, and the first kill already shows what is to be expected from the movie. Such realistic and uncompromised killing sequences are rather rare and one usually sees them in French movies. The only thing the movie lacks despite its violence, criticism and black humor is suspense. However, due to the fact that this is not a standard masked killer or hillbilly family slasher makes me forgive this flaw.
Running Times and Cuts
Running time of the Hongkong DVD without ending credits: 1:29:56 NTSC = 1:26:15 PAL
Running time of the British DVD without ending credits: 1:27:26 PAL
1 longer black screen on the HK DVD (+2,2 sec)
1 digital censorship, the UK DVD being longer here as well
1 alternative footage without any difference in time
= 70,66 sec
Running time designations: Hongkong DVD (NTSC) / British DVD (PAL)
The company logos at the beginning differ, the ones on the HK DVD are longer.
HK DVD: Shortly after Sheung starts to pull a plastic bag over the pregnant woman's head, the HK DVD fades to black for approx. 10 seconds. The screams of the woman can still be heard. It starts again when the woman is only lying there without moving. (+10,24 sec)
UK DVD: Sheung pulls the bag further down and fixes is with a cable tie. The woman turns on her back and scream. Sheung applies the vacuum cleaner to the bag and starts sucking the air out of it. The bag contracts and the woman starts writhing about. The long death struggle follows, Sheung is watching. The last three seconds of the scene can be seen in the HK as well. (60,48 sec)
Time difference: 50,24 sec
After the pregnant woman's husband received the call the woman can be seen dying again in both versions, different footage has been used for that.
HK DVD: She is lying almost without movement and the floor while being watched by Sheung. At the end, there is a fade to black.
UK DVD: The death struggle can be seen again while the camera pans away.
No difference in time
The CAT III version stops shortly before the man in the yellow shirt slowly slides to the ground and dies. He is sitting there rattling while the glass cylinder continues to fill with blood.
HK DVD: When the severed Penis is lying next to the woman, the HK DVD stops shortly afterwards. Additionally, the penis has been blurred. (1,28 sec)
UK DVD: The shot is longer and the penis can be seen more sharply. (2,88 sec)
Time difference: 1,6 sec
Sheung rams her hand into the young man's belly wound. When he screams, she puts her pistol into his mouth.