Saturday, November 7, 2020

PAPERHOUSE - "Is Anybody There?" (1988)

This week's Saturday Night Special is a strange British film from 1988 called "Paperhouse," and if I had to guess, a lot of people in the year 2020 should be able to identify with it since it makes about as much sense as anything else!

I don't know quite what to make of this movie, I think I liked it, but I can't be quite sure about it. It's really well done, and raises a lot of questions, I'm just not exactly sure what they are, but probably something elementary, like the meaning of life!

An eleven year old girl makes a simple line drawing of a house in class.

Some hi jinks ensue in the classroom, and the young lady finds herself out in the hall.

The girl's name is Anna Madden, and she is played by Charlotte Burke.
Anna has some extra things going on inside her head.

Her teacher's not much help!

Anna has a tendency to just blank out.

And when she does, she goes to a place in her head, the house that she has drawn!

Her Mother doesn't get it, and her Father is gone all the time because of his job!

This is Anna's sketch book that has her drawing of the house in her dreams in it.

Anna is eleven in the movie, but Charlotte Burke was born in 1974, so that would have made her fourteen. In "Paperhouse," the role of Anna takes up probably 80% of the screen time, which is pretty incredible for such a young lady, and I was quite surprised when I found out that this was the only appearance Charlotte ever made.
 For the last nine years, Charlotte has run a successful family online business called "Lottie Nottie" that sells hand made bows and hair clips for kids

In the house in her dreams, there dwells a young man named Marc who has no use of his legs. Marc was played by Elliott Spiers, who sadly only lived to the age of twenty because he suffered a negative reaction to an anti-malaria medication that left him gravely ill.

Anna realizes that basically whatever she draws also appears in her dreams, so she attempts to provide Marc with some functional legs, and it kind of works, but not really!

Anna freaks when she finds out her Mom threw her drawing away while she was sleeping, and they have to go dig through the garbage with some impatient trash men!

Anna is very sick now, and is spending more time in her dreams. It does turn into a bit of a horror story when her Father shows up in the dream, and is apparently intent on trying to kill her and Marc.

Dream sequence no doubt!

The persecution by her Father in the dreams becomes more and more violent!

Anna's sub-conscious mind reaches out for the drawing while she is under attack in the dream, and she tears a part out of the drawing that represents her Dad.

When Marc and Anna escape the clutches of the evil man, they find an abandoned light house where they can stay.

The dreams have now basically stopped. Marc was a real person, a sick boy that she had never met in person, and now he has died, and Anna's parents take her on a little vacation. In the coastal town where they are staying, Anna sees the light house for real for the first time, and runs to it hoping to find Marc, but the light house door is locked and there's nobody inside leaving her lost and alone.
There is a happy ending of sorts, but you just need to see it for yourself.
I woke up to a rainbow this morning, I hope you did too!


KD said...

Very strange-looking film. The lighthouse reminds me of that awful film of a year or two ago...ANNIHILATION? It ruined my seeing any film with a lighthouse in it, forever! damn.

EEGAH!! said...

Despite the lighthouse, I'm pretty sure you'd like it.

KD said...

Okay buddy, I'll make a point to check it out. Thanks! :)

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