6.7/10
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68 user 35 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)
Reviews
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 ... 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:

A drawing that became a dream. A dream that became reality. 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 See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,687, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:

$241,278

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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

Director Bernard Rose recalled in an interview that Charlotte Burke got really freaked out shooting the nightmare scenes with Anna's father terrorising Anna and Marc. There's a moment where actor Ben Cross smashes through the window with a hammer, and they had deliberately not told Burke that this was going to happen. Her screams of terror are real. She had no idea that the glass wasn't real, and was sugar-glass. She reportedly told Rose "How dare you!" in anger later on, when she was in her dressing room later on. She didn't like the surprises, and said she was worried something might happen like an explosion going off that she didn't know about to get a reaction caught on film. See more »

Goofs

When Anna is lying in bed, the boom mic visible in top center of screen. See more »

Quotes

Anna Madden: I'm having dreams, Mum. But they're real, I know they are.
Kate Madden: Dreams can't be real, sweetie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sweets to the Sweet: The Candyman Mythos (2004) 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 psychological drama.
25 June 2001 | by qrt7See all my reviews

A great film this, and a shame that it will receive little attention outside of arthouse circles and students who stay up until two in the morning to watch it on Channel Four.

The plot is a simple one but works very effectively, the blurring between child-like fantasy and hard-hitting nightmare is very well blurred. The budget looks pretty low, but to the credit of those involved it doesn't show too often. It also hasn't dated that much either.

I was lucky enough to tape this off the telly when it was on a few years ago, and it has withstood half-a-dozen viewings. It's one of those films that won't appeal to all; though as usual, those with a more thoughtful approach to cinema would get a lot out of this.

Charlotte Buerke puts in a good performance as Anna, the spoilt brat and it is a shame she seems to have gone from the acting scene. Cross is also very good, carrying the stature of his character very well within the context of the picture.

There are some genuinely (and I don't say that lightly) disturbing moments in this film, both half-second shockers and more drawn-out tensions. Watch it with the lights out!

Highly recommended.

9/10


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