Anna is becoming lost in the loneliness of her own world when she discovers she can visit another, a house she has drawn herself and occupied by a young disabled boy. But as she discovers ... See full summary »
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Boris Arkadin is a horror film maker. His pregnant wife was brutally murdered by a Manson-like gang of hippy psychopaths during the 1960s. He becomes a virtual recluse - until years later ... See full summary »
Anna is becoming lost in the loneliness of her own world when she discovers she can visit another, a house she has drawn herself and occupied by a young disabled boy. But as she discovers more of the links between her fantasy world and the mundane present, she is drawn only deeper into a dream turning into a nightmare. Written by
David Carroll <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Elliott Spiers, who played the role of Marc, unfortunately died shortly after the production of Paperhouse. Paperhouse and another film he starred in, Taxandria (1989), were dedicated to his memory. See more »
When Anna is lying in bed, the boom mic visible in top center of screen. See more »
I was absolutely stunned while watching this fantasy/horror film. The original plot has Anna (an eleven year old girl with glandular fever) sketching the crude drawing of a house during the opening scene. As her fever worsens, she repetedly dreams of the same house on an open field. In her dreams, the house is brilliantly lit up and really looks like a child's drawing, which I found a rather frightening image. Anna dreams of adventures in the house with a boy named Marc, and these adventures turn more sinister as her illness becomes more serious. There seems to be a link between her illness and the evil she must face in the house, but like many things in the movie, this is only hinted at.
In many ways I found this movie better than the book, Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr. Although the book does contain some subtle horror, it is basically for children. However, the movie offers some real scares as well as an underlying atmosphere of suppressed horror. There is something unnerving in the scenes when Anna is exploring the empty house that is difficult to put your finger on.
Perhaps the reason this amazing film wasn't a huge commercial success was because it's difficult to determine it's intended audience. While the character of Anna might appeal to pre-teens, some scenes (in particular the one when the father tries to break into the house with a hammer) are far to intense for young children. Most adults may be put off by the plot, but if they're at all interested in child or dream psycology, or just want to see something different, I'd throughly reccomend it.
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