It's one thing when a film populated with no-names opts to open without press screenings. "Courageous" (PG-13 for some violence and drug content), a drama about four small-town cops at various stages of fatherhood, was written, produced, directed by and stars the clergy and congregants of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. This kind of evangelizing Christian film is made for a niche audience of the faithful, and reviews are frankly irrelevant. Godspeed.
On the other hand, when a film with A-listers Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts slinks into theaters under cover of darkness, it must be pretty awful. The supernatural shocker "Dream House" (PG-13 for violence, terror, some sexuality and brief strong language), from two-time Best Director Oscar winner Jim Sheridan, concerns a suburban house where atrocities were committed long ago. The trailer gives away a major twist -- the happy husband played by Craig is not who he seems; in fact he might be a former mental patient who committed the heinous crimes himself, his current "family" just a madman's fantasies. If it were really effective, wouldn't they have waited a couple weeks and released it for Halloween? Proceed with caution. COLIN COVERT