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Paperhouse (1988)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,647 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 23 critic

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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Title: Paperhouse (1988)

Paperhouse (1988) on IMDb 6.8/10

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlotte Burke ...
Anna Madden
Jane Bertish ...
Miss Vanstone
Samantha Cahill ...
Sharon
...
Kate Madden
Sarah Newbold ...
Karen (Anna's school friend)
Gary Bleasdale ...
Policeman
Elliott Spiers ...
Marc
...
Dr. Sarah Nicols
...
Dustman
...
Dad Madden
Karen Gledhill ...
Nurse
Barbara Keogh ...
Hotel receptionist
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Storyline

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 <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | fantasy world | house | dream | nightmare | See more »

Taglines:

Is anybody there? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Paperhouse - Alpträume werden wahr  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$241,278 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When it was decided two days before the film was theatrically released that the character of Kate should be British, American actress Glenne Headly had to very quickly dub all of her dialogue using an English accent. See more »

Goofs

At the hospital, the chest radiograph that can be seen on the negatoscope is incorrectly positioned. It should be flipped horizontally, so the heart shadow mainly occupies the right half of the image (as if the examiner was in front of the patient). See more »

Quotes

Kate Madden: Go away please
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweets to the Sweet: The Candyman Mythos (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

A40 Overhead Section
Written by Bernard Rose
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absorbing tale, visually stunning and brilliant
15 April 2002 | by (Palm Desert, California) – See all my reviews

I do miss the company Vestron, they sure had their finger on the pulse of unique and unusual cinema back in the 1980s. This is very apparent with the astonishing Paperhouse, a film that touches me deeply each and every time I watch it.

The idea of a girl manipulating a dream world with her drawings (thusly the dream world manipulating reality), and also connecting with and affecting the life of a boy she's never actually met, is fascinating and never disappoints. Charlotte Burke at first seems quite precocious and yet you warm up to her because by being a bit of a mischievous child, it makes it hard for the adults to believe what she is experiencing. She becomes very self aware and strong towards the end, even finding she doesn't "hate boys" as she so defiantly claimed at first. Through this we are treated to many touching moments and some immensely scary ones, all visually stunning with a grand score from Hans Zimmer. I'm quite proud to be an owner of the soundtrack on CD when it was released in the United States on RCA Victor. At the time of this writing there is no DVD of Paperhouse yet available in the U.S. (only in Europe), here's hoping one of my wishes will come true as I truly cherish this beautiful film and a DVD of it would be very welcome!

It's satisfying watching the girl work out her thoughts like a puzzle game trying to make the dream world work for her and her newfound friend Marc (Elliot Spiers). Both Charlotte Burke and Elliot Spiers do a magnificent job throughout, I find the editorial comment on Amazon.com about it being "hammy acting" quite perplexing -- I found every aspect of Paperhouse to be exhilarating. Even in minor scenes of brilliance like when Charlotte and the girl in the classroom are staring at each other through the glass on a door, it's quite powerful.

You don't have to be an arthouse type to enjoy Paperhouse, just be a person that enjoys a film that stimulates and has you wanting more. There is enough in this film to invite repeated viewings and I'm still in awe of the cinematography and sets. For me, it's never like watching the same film twice, as there are so many details to absorb and savor. A very emotional experience indeed.

While there are many films I adore, there are only a few specific ones that strike a great emotional chord in me: films like Paperhouse, Static, Resurrection, and Donnie Darko. When I see so much drek out there passing as films that will easily be forgotten and in bargain bins, all I have to do is watch Paperhouse and my faith in wondrous storytelling is renewed.


22 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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