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Paperhouse [DVD] (1988)


Price: £19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by HarriBella.UK.Ltd and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlotte Burke, Ben Cross, Glenne Headly, Elliott Spiers, Gemma Jones
  • Directors: Bernard Rose
  • Writers: Catherine Storr, Matthew Jacobs
  • Producers: Dan Ireland, Jane Frazer, M.J. Peckos, Sarah Radclyffe, Tim Bevan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sept. 2001
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KFTT
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,066 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

DVD Special Features:

Trailer
Filmographies
Languages: English
Dolby Stereo
1.66:1 ratio

From Amazon.co.uk

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.

On the DVD With a 1.66:1 ratio format and Dolby Digital sound the stylistic brilliance of this movie is much easier to see and enjoy than in its previous incarnations on television and video. The special features leave a lot to be desired, though, offering only an unexciting original trailer and four filmographies for the director and the three main adult actresses. --Nikki Disney

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bruno VINE VOICE on 28 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
This is certainly a film that will not appeal to simple minded gore fans. If you're looking for something rather more sophisticated ie. a haunting (and creepy) psychological drama then this far too neglected classic is sure to satisfy. Everybody who watches this film seems to love it, yet the film has become so forgotten that it cannot even be categorised as the 'cult' classic it undeniably should be. Not many films make me jump out of my seat, emotionally move me and send a few shivers up the spine for good measure, all in the space of 90 minutes, but this one did, even on second viewing. Through Anna's fevered imaginations we share the anxieties of a girl on the brink of adolescence, leaving behind the innocent securities of childhood and entering a new world where suddenly identity is uncertain and a place in the world has to be discovered. Her dreams are conveyed in a surreal and chilling manner, beautifully photographed in and around an isolated stone house set in a suitably desolate and bare landscape. Watch this film and it will hang around in your mind (and dreams) for days afterwards.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Go away, can't you understand? It's dangerous around here! Dangerous!
While suffering from glandular fever at home and confined to her bedroom, 11 year old birthday girl Anna Madden draws a house in her sketch pad. Bizarrely the house comes to be real in her dreams when she falls asleep. So upon waking she starts to draw other things to go with the house, including a boy at the window (Marc). However, things start to turn bad when another character she draws enters the Paperhouse.

Four years earlier than Paperhouse we had seen A Nightmare On Elm Street open up a can of worms for the horror movie dream aspect. By the time of Paperhouse's release, the format was already looking tired as two sequels to Freddie's jolly had been and gone and a wave of imitators had blighted our screens (anyone remember the awful Dream Demon for instance?). This may go some way to explaining why Paperhouse, a brilliant, and hauntingly poetic movie, upped and vanished from the radar. Its director is Bernard Rose, who four years later would direct Candyman and put him in the shop window of the horror faithful. Thus prompting many to seek out some of his earlier work and getting Paperhouse talked about again. Not everyone took to it, for it's not overtly horror in name. It contains genuine moments of terror, but its themes and atmosphere are more in keeping with something like Pan's Labyrinth than with Candyman, Candyman, Candyman.

Paperhouse is open to interpretation by the individual viewer, it toys with ideas such as what is the reality here? Is Anna in limbo, is it coincidence that she is sick? There's a number of issues that on the surface are not obviously addressed, but they can be if you open up to it and use a thought process.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. John Saunders on 3 Jun. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A truly well thought up film with the essentials in it I like the film its one of the best.
Paper house is a film on its own and original .
It has an Astral theme to it and is one of a kind.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Feb. 2002
Format: VHS Tape
'Paperhouse' is the most emotionally moving film I've ever seen. The acting from both the leads (Charlotte Burke and Elliot Spears) is superb. It's such a shame both seem to have disappeared. I'd love to know what they are doing now.
The story is engaging from start to finish. The only film that has managed to made me jump and cry! This is definitely a film that you need to watch completely uninterupted, perhaps in bed or under a blanket on a comfy settee in the dark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Y. Jones on 25 April 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bernard Rose directs this thought provoking psychological thriller, based on a childrens book (which, incidentally, is just as disturbing as the film!).

Paperhouse has many twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, and whilst the dream sequences become more and more disturbing, there are many moving scenes - the one that always sticks in my mind is Anna (Charlotte Burke) feverishly drawing the house of her dreams until dawn, with the beautiful 'Sanctus' from Gabriel Faure's 'Requiem' as the soundtrack; the aftermath of her illness, and the awkwardness of repairing the broken relationship with her father.

This is not just another scary film, it is also a deeply emotional story that moves me every time I watch it. The occasional continuity errors and dated special effects are easily overlooked by the brilliant performances by Charlotte Burke and Elliott Speirs, and the actual set of the Paperhouse itself is one that you won't forget in a hurry. A brilliant film that'll have you on the edge of your seat again and again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ana Félix Pires on 30 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
I was born in the year this movie was made, so I remember being very young when I started seeing it on TV, young enough that I didn't know English yet.

My brother explained the story to me, and even not grasping all if it, I remember loving it and being extremely freaked out at the same time. It was an amazing movie, where this sassy young girl - who shared a name with me - could visit what she drew in her sketchbook during her dreams. And then the dreams became nightmares.

I was so thrilled when I came across it here, purely by chance, on a listmania by some random person. Watching it now, at the age of 20, I'm still amazed by this movie. Wonderful and original story, extremely alluring because of its strangeness, and just as creepy as I remembered it.

My only disappointment is with the actual DVD. Not the movie, the DVD. It seems like very little effort went into making it, and you'd expect more from something released on "24 Sep 2007", as the Product Details mention.

First: no subtitles AT ALL, not even in English. This is a big thing for me, as English is not my first language, and the actors' accents are, well, very British. The dialogues are usually slow, but there were parts on the movie when I had to go back a bit to really understand what had been said. I understand not all languages could be covered as subtitles, but it couldn't be that hard to make the English ones available.

Then, the extras are basically a trailer and a list of biographies and filmographies concerning the actors. Again, it feels like there wasn't much effort in making the DVD.

All in all, the movie is great and it would easily get 5 starts from me. But I was expecting to get more from the DVD. Since there are no other versions out there that I know of, there's really not much to choose from anyway, but do keep in mind what you're getting (and not getting, like subtitles) if you decide to buy.
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