Monday, June 21, 2010


'Paperhouse' is a psychological-thriller about a girl, Anna, who is home with a fever. Her doctor makes house calls to treat her. When Anna (played by a haunting Charlotte Burke in her only major movie role) asks the doctor how her other patient, Marc, is doing, the doctor is shocked as she has not mentioned Marc before.

Anna knows about Marc through a psychic connection she has with him in her dreams. One day, Anna draws a house and that night, in her dreams, Marc is living in the house.

The story takes a psychological turn when Anna draws her father in the picture so that he might help Marc. She doesn't like the drawing so scratches it out. The result is that her father visits Anna and Marc in their house but appears as a horrible monster who attacks them.

The issues dealt with are the emotional pitfalls of the parent/child relationship when the parent is alcoholic. I saw the film when it came out in 1989 at an arthouse that played mostly foreign movies. It's stuck with me ever since.

Roger Ebert called it "a film in which every image has been distilled to the point of almost frightening simplicity".

'Paperhouse' seems fitting for a Hollywood remake, although it would be tough to find an actor as intense as Charlotte Burke.

If you haven't seen it I highly recommend 'Paperhouse'.

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