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Paperhouse [DVD]

3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Charlotte Burke, Jane Bertish, Ben Cross, Steven O'Donnell, Glenne Headly
  • Directors: Bernard Rose
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Sarah Radclyffe
  • 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: Lions Gate Home Ent. UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sept. 2007
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H8RW1K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,422 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Young Anna Madden (Charlotte Burke) becomes a cause for concern when she begins drawing the house which appears in her dreams. She finds that she can actually visit the house herself, and discovers it to be occupied by a disabled boy. However, back in reality, Anna is slipping in and out of consciousness and this results in her being placed in medical care. It appears that her harmless dream has now turned into a very real nightmare....

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: DVD
Firstly, I agree with other people's opinion that it's slighty misleading to pigeonhole Paperhouse in the 'Horror' genre.
Although it's certainly quite gripping in parts, it would be more appropriate to label this little gem as a Fantasy/Suspense-Thriller.
Like many others, I watched this film when I was younger and loved it. And when I watched it recently again as an adult I found it just as enjoyable, and obviously, now older, I connected with it on a more emotional level.
To portray the surreal and complicated story onto the screen so well is a testiment to the director/writer/actors involved.
If this was one of those films from your childhood its worth another watch.
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By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2004
Format: 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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