6.8/10
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60 user 31 critic

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:

Bernard Rose

Writers:

Catherine Storr (novel), Matthew Jacobs (screenplay)
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlotte Burke Charlotte Burke ... Anna Madden
Jane Bertish Jane Bertish ... Miss Vanstone
Samantha Cahill Samantha Cahill ... Sharon
Glenne Headly ... Kate Madden
Sarah Newbold Sarah Newbold ... Karen (Anna's school friend)
Gary Bleasdale Gary Bleasdale ... Policeman
Elliott Spiers Elliott Spiers ... Marc
Gemma Jones ... Dr. Sarah Nicols
Steven O'Donnell ... Dustman
Ben Cross ... Dad Madden
Karen Gledhill Karen Gledhill ... Nurse
Barbara Keogh 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

Taglines:

Is anybody there? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paperhouse - Alpträume werden wahr See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$241,278
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Working Title Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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: Dad!
Dad Madden: [stands in silence]
Anna Madden: Dad, come in, it's getting dark!
Dad Madden: Anna... is that you?
Anna Madden: Yes.
Dad Madden: [brandishes a claw hammer] I'm blind!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

A40 Overhead Section
Written by Bernard Rose
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User Reviews

Val Lewton would be proud
10 February 2003 | by clore_2See all my reviews

I just watched this remarkable 1988 film which somehow managed to escape my attention previously. It may have been the Vestron distribution that worked against it - the company went under, and the film was not released on a mass scale.

I have not seen a "horror" film which involved children that impressed me as much as this since "Curse of the Cat People." "The Innocents" has just been knocked out of second spot by my viewing of this stylish film that puts "The Other" and "The Others" to shame.

The film concerns young British teen Anna, who suffers fainting spells, and in her dreams visits the house which she had drawn on paper. As the dreams go on, she meets a young male teen named Mark, whom she had drawn in the window on paper. At first she couldn't get to visit his room - he tells her she has to go back and draw the stairs.

I won't reveal more of the plot, it would be doing the film a great disservice, even though most viewers will probably be one step ahead. That's not a negative in this case, as it enables one to be more attentive to the production design of Gemma Jackson and the direction of Bernard Rose, which combine to depict incredibly stark visuals - there's no cheating with splashes of color and hazy or overlit photography that are often erroneously used to indicate a dreamlike state.

Charlotte Burke will tear at your emotions as Anna, a shame she made this her solo acting experience. Elliott Spiers is equally impressive as Mark, but he only made one more film. Glenne Headly - a New London, Connecticut native, does remarkably well in her role as Anna's mother, her accent is impeccable. This one is not to be missed.


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