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Unjustly Forgotten Horror Movie of the Week: Bernard Rose’s ‘Paperhouse’

Posted by GoreMaster Special Effects on August 1, 2009

From esplatter.compaperhouse

July 25, 2009 Before he enjoyed mainstream commercial success directing Clive Barker’s “Candyman,” Bernard Rose helmed this amazing 1988 dream-horror film that wowed critics who called it a thinking person’s “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Charlotte Burke plays an overly imaginative 11-year-old British girl who, during an illness, falls deep into a fantasy world where she hooks up with a crippled boy (Elliott Spiers) that she’s never met before. She also has disturbing and frightening visions of her father (Ben Cross) and a dark, foreboding country house. The dreams become more and more frightening as the film goes on, in a film that is in many ways better than the more commercial “Candyman.”

While it mainly stars children, “Paperhouse” is intended strictly for adults and even features some terrifying make-up effects. Perhaps the fact that “Paperhouse” is a difficult film to pigeonhole — is it a horror film, a fantasy film, an art film? — that has made it a title that its makers have decided to no longer market in the United States. Or perhaps it’s hung up in a rights dispute. Who knows. The only thing we can be sure of it is that it’s unavailable.

The film hit VHS in the U.S. in 1990 and never saw another release. Considering what a good film it is, it’s ard to believe it never made its way to DVD — but it never did and there’s no sign whatsoever of any kind of release. In addition, child actress Charlottte Burke never went on to appear in anything else.

The film was based on the novel “Marianne Dreams” by Catherine Storr — also out of print.

Make Up Department
  Sarah Grundy … hair stylist
  Jenny Shircore… makeup chief
Special Effects Department
  Steve Crawley … wire effects
  Alexander Gunn … special effects technician
  Bob Harman … wire effects
  Alan Whibley … special effects supervisor

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