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.
Charlotte Burke (Anna Madden) Jane Bertish (Miss Vanstone) Samantha Cahill (Sharon) Glenne Headly (Kate Madden) Sarah Newbold (Karen (Anna's school friend)) Gary Bleasdale (Policeman) Elliott Spiers (Marc) Gemma Jones (Dr. Sarah Nicols)
Not really a truely horror picture, but an interesting one. Worth noting this is from the director of the awesome 'Candyman', one of the best horror films from the 90s.
" To define the 1988 fantasy flick Paperhouse as a mere horror film would be an injustice--although this intelligent and thought-provoking British film is certainly scary in parts. In exploring the world of dreams, director Bernard Rose (Candyman) offers a far more elegant exposition of the subject than the Nightmare on Elm Street school of horror. Based on the novel Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr, Paperhouse offers a believable cause for its intensified dreamworld: Anna (Charlotte Burke) falls ill with glandular fever--a fever which will blur her understanding of reality and dreams. It is clear from the start that Anna has an overzealous imagination, holding onto her childhood games while her best friend becomes more interested in boys. Before her descent into illness Anna draws the Paperhouse of the title, and it is this house that dominates her dream world.
Although the acting is rather hammy and the scenes set in reality are tedious, the true beauty of the film comes from Production Designer Gemma Jackson and Cinematographer Mike Southon, whose talents emerge in the dream sequences. Clearly taking inspiration from the Surrealist movement, Jackson recreates a chilling version of Anna's drawing of the house, full of dark shadows and terrifying noises, that perhaps has more in common with Jan Svankmajer's macabre adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice than the innocent childhood offerings of Disney. Ultimately Paperhouse is an exploration of the traumatic transition into adulthood of a young girl on the cusp of her teenage years: at the start of the film Anna "hates boys", but by the end she is sharing her first kiss with Mark, her playmate in the dream world.."
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