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 »
While in the car with her mother, Anna puts her father's telegram in her pocket twice. See more »
Paperhouse is the most moving and poignant film I've ever seen. Often classed as a "horror movie" this, I believe, is a grave error. Some journo once called it "the thinking person's Nightmare on Elm Street" and while I accept the logic of his conclusion I can't help but think it's a tag that is ill deserved and misleading. Those that can only see horror are truly missing out here and only serves to demonstrate they're really not thinking at all.
In fact, just attempting to classify this wonderful work is probably a bad idea. Quite simply, Paperhouse is perfect in every exquisite detail and will always have a special place in my heart. As someone wiser than me once said, "the film hits you on a completely emotional level", which may go some way to explaining why my comments are so unrelentingly gushing. To be honest, I make no apology for this so if you feel my words are too saccharine for your taste, stop reading now because there's more to come.
It's so rare to find a film that has at its heart the pain and heartache of childhood and the struggle to overcome the dreadful feelings of isolation and loneliness that can completely overwhelm us at this fragile time in our lives. Even more unusual to find child actors who can actually play their roles with the sensitivity and intelligence required to make it all work. In Charlotte Burke and Elliott Spiers we had an inspired piece of casting and the lasting impact of Paperhouse owes much to their ability to portray the melancholy and alienation of childhood (often overlooked) in a seamless and convincing way.
And yet both of these brilliant young stars seemed to have slipped through the grasp of the studios and have somehow faded away.
Add to all this an incredibly talented director (Bernard Rose), imaginative cinematography and the most beautiful and haunting soundtrack you're ever likely to hear and you may start to get an inkling of why I have such affection and affinity for this film that no amount of words can express.
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