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29 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-gore horror classic
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...
Published on 28 Feb 2006 by Bruno

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy DVD
This product is flawed, it works perfectly well on my laptop but for whatever reason will not work on my DVD player (it starts off fine, with the film company intro and then repeats again and again, without the title menu ever coming up). All of my other DVDs work perfectly fine so the flaw seems to lie with the DVD. For the fairly low price I doubt it's worth sending...
Published 5 months ago by Tobias Vertigo


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-gore horror classic, 28 Feb 2006
By 
Bruno - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (1988) (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paper House Film, 3 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. John Saunders "Merathon" (Burnley Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (DVD)
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Go away, can't you understand? It's dangerous around here! Dangerous!, 16 Feb 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (DVD)
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. Don't get me wrong, this is not a complex movie, it's thoughtful, even cheekily daring, but it's not a cranial head scratcher that doesn't make sense. In fact, rightfully so, the wonderful breath holding ending ties up any loose ends, but this again is if you have invested fully in the movie. There's psychological aspects to it as well, Anna is about to enter puberty, a notoriously "difficult" time, not just for the child, but for the parents too, most notably the father of girls. This appears, in my line of thinking, to be very much at the heart of Paperhouse. Certainly the father/daughter axis is the crux of the piece, but metaphors and some scenes beg for analysis. In tone it's easy to draw a line to two other undervalued "horror" movies from the 1980s, The Lady In White and The Company Of Wolves, so fans of those films should definitely check this out. What you or I make of Paperhouse is what makes the movie so special, answers to questions are not given, just hints. It's fine writing from Matthew Jacobs who adapts from Catherine Storr's novel Marrianne Dreams.

The film also looks terrific thanks to production designer Gemma Jackson. The two-story house and its isolated grassy surrounds are suitably creepy, but as Anna starts to add things to her drawing, this in turn lets Jackson work her magic. The contents of the house range from the eerie (ice-cream maker/radio) to the poetic (a room full of lighted candles), while a blue bicycle is almost abstract in its intricacy. Involved on the acting front is only a small cast that features Charlotte Burke as Anna, Glenne Headly as her Mother, Ben Cross as the father, Elliott Spiers as Marc and Gemma Jones playing Dr. Sarah Nicols. This was the only film Burke ever made, which is sad because she's fabulous. Starting out bratish and borderline annoying, the character quickly pulls us on side as her confusion gives way to a grasp of the situation; that in turn makes her resourceful and brave, thus fully involving the audience. That's testament to Burke's performance and marks it down as one of the better turns from a British child actor.

More fantasy than horror but definitely evocative and haunting. A real smart little movie begging to be seen more now in these post Pan's Labyrinth days. 9/10
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly exceptional film. Emotional and Scary., 23 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Paperhouse [VHS] (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dodgy DVD, 8 Feb 2014
By 
Tobias Vertigo (Entropy In The UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (DVD)
This product is flawed, it works perfectly well on my laptop but for whatever reason will not work on my DVD player (it starts off fine, with the film company intro and then repeats again and again, without the title menu ever coming up). All of my other DVDs work perfectly fine so the flaw seems to lie with the DVD. For the fairly low price I doubt it's worth sending back to reclaim on but none the less I'm not happy about this shoddy product, frankly I expect better from Amazon.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagination far beyond expectation, 6 Jan 2002
By 
Gordon (Newcastle upon Tyne) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Paperhouse [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Imagine an ordinary girl living the day to day in reality and at the same time a world of fantasy as real as real. This film seamlessly reveals to the viewer such a world. Its direction is so flawless that you forget you are watching a film as the characters play out their part so sincerely. I for one was glued from beginning to end.
This is touching and a case of 'getting rid of old demons' and worth mentioning because it is one of a kind.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars unforgettable, 11 Jan 2004
This review is from: Paperhouse [VHS] (VHS Tape)
So unforgettable that even after about 10 years I've been wanting to get hold of this film. I watched it when I was younger and not seeing it since, to this day I still remeber some of the scenes in it. House in the middle of nowhere, not knowing what was about to happen, who's that person at the window......Really good. Definetly a recommendation to anyone who hasn't seen this.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Iconic films from my childhood, 2 July 2007
By 
Claire Steed "Silver Sapphire" (Kent, England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (DVD)
I always remember this film (as do many people of my generation) as being the film with 'The standing stones that move' - a brilliant little film and quite creepy. This is well written, acted and directed. Not an especially long film but it draws you into the story so quickly and doesn't let up. One of the better films from my childhood that has remained with me right up until present day, oh and nice to see Ben cross in this, one of our most accomplished actors doing what he does best - brilliant; glad to see it finally out on DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undiscovered work of genius, 25 April 2006
By 
Y. Jones "devonshire lass" (Barnstaple, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (1988) (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars "Is anybody there?", 30 Jun 2009
By 
Ana Félix Pires (Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Paperhouse [DVD] (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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Paperhouse [DVD]
Paperhouse [DVD] by Bernard Rose (DVD - 2007)
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