6.8/10
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Paperhouse (1988)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy | 17 February 1989 (USA)
A young girl lost in the loneliness and boredom of reality finds solace in an ill boy, whom she can visit in a surreal dream world that she drew in her school composition book.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlotte Burke ...
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:

visit | boy | dream | dream world | girl | See All (116) »

Taglines:

Is anybody there? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

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  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanley Myers receives a composer credit though his score was rejected by the producers for not having enough edge. Hans Zimmer was working as Myers' assistant at the time and insisted that he could properly score the movie in time for its release. Within a couple of years Zimmer would become one of the most sought-after composers in Hollywood and his popularity continues to this day. 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

Anna Madden: What's snogging like?
Sharon: Like kissing a vaccum cleaner.
See more »

Connections

Version of Escape Into Night (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Requiem
Music by Gabriel Fauré
Performed by Choristers of Westminster Cathedral
Published by Editions Harnelle
Arranged by Stanley Myers (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Fantastic
12 November 2003 | by (Toronto) – See all my reviews

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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