Paperhouse is a Spine tingling thriller adapted from an original novel and TV show which blends fantasy and reality in the head of one young girl, living in a house that she has drawn herself.
Paperhouse, Spine tingling thriller, is adapted from an original novel and TV show which blends fantasy and reality in the head of one young girl, living in a house that she has drawn herself.
This 1988 film came from the pens of Catherine Storr and Matthew Jacobs and was directed by Bernard Rose. Trapped in what might be her own fantasy world, feverish and delirious, Anna gets drawn to a real life version of the house she has drawn, where she finds a disabled boy living, Marc. Together, they face the trials that the house throws at them and it seems that the worse Anna’s condition gets, the more dangerous and terrifying the obstacles the pair must face.
Paperhouse is an all round brilliant film with a great central concept that is treated with subtlety by both the director and actors, so the viewer is never quite sure how much Anna’s real world existence is bleeding through to this strange and disturbing fantasy. Charlotte Burke is excellent as the confused girl, Anna bringing real vulnerability but able to show steel when required of her and Elliot Spears is staunch support as Marc. Both act with immense skill, child stars that can really hold the film together, able to portray the problems of childhood and bring them into their acting without disturbing the flow of the story, really giving a lift to the movie.
Not that it needed it, the supporting cast never put a foot wrong and the script is an excellent piece of work, skilfully adapting the book while sympathetically adding yet more layers to the narrative. His cinematography is excellent with some really eerie moments being created in camera alone and with skilful use of lighting. Nothing is too showy in “Paperhouse” because it doesn’t need to be, the director is at the top of his game. Combined with a superbly eerie and memorable soundtrack and great editing, often overlooked in film reviews, this isn’t just a “must see” but a “must see again and again”. It’ll stay with you long after the credits have faded.