Five Questions with Dream Home Director Ho-Cheung Pang

Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with director Ho-Cheung Pang to talk about his latest film, Dream Home (review here), which is available now on VOD courtesy of IFC Midnight. Dig it!

Dream Home (2011)DC: The events of Dream Home take place in a very non-linear fashion. What were the challenges involved with making sure everything came together while avoiding confusion?

HCP: It is because I have considered the view of slasher fans; those audiences will be impatient and anxious to wait for killing scenes. This is always a typical dilemma in slasher films. So I cannot handle this film like any other drama patterns. I want audiences to enjoy watching the whole journey with me. Therefore, I decided to tell the story in a non-linear narrative fashion when I start writing the script. I tried to weave the killing and violent scenes in almost every ten minutes in the film.

The most challenging for me was how to keep audience with me on the same page, to follow my sequence with no difficulty. Hence, I have put colour effects and time codes to help me do the job. However, it will be difficult to follow the time sequence if you were enjoying weed while watching my film.

DC: In the States it’s typically men who play the slashers while females are usually relegated to the victim role. Whereas in Asian films it’s much the opposite. What are your thoughts on this difference?

HCP: It’s a salute to a film called “Day of the Woman” by writing this story. In the story Cheng Lai-sheung suffered and was rip-offed by the craziness of society and the unreachable high property price that pushed her to start killings – it’s her revenge to the society.
Typical slashers are usually led by male characters so I think it would freshen up the film by a woman lead.

DC: Dream Home’s violence is fearless in its execution and isn’t afraid to go too far. Were you ever worried about censorship, and was there anything too violent that didn’t make it into the final cut?

HCP: We spent much time to make a shot that the life-size genital would be cut off in the film during a sex scene. My team had really done it and made it so real. But Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority in Hong Kong insisted that the shot should be excised. I discussed it with them many times but failed. That shot is uncut in the overseas version.

DC: What movies and/or characters influenced you in the making of Dream Home?

HCP: I am a fan of Hollywood’s B-grade slasher movies. Friday the 13th, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre(the version in 1974, I don’t like the 2003 version), The Hills Have Eyes, Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street are all my favorites. Frankly, these movies influenced me in the making of Dream Home.

DC: Is the story over, or do you think that there’s more to tell? Will we ever see a sequel, or even a prequel?

HCP: I wanted to satirize the craziness of the Hong Kong property market through the protagonist’s killing spree just for the sake of buying a flat. More importantly, I liked to shoot the bloodthirsty scenes. This time I had a chance and plenty of resources to fulfill my dream.

To be frank, the story is completely ended. Moreover, I still have many projects in hand to do. So I don’t think this film should have a sequel or prequel.

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Steve Barton

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