Great premise for a movie. The first 2 thirds of the film are very good, very creepy and effective, but in the last act the film let's itself down. It doesn't become terrible, or even bad, it just stops being good.The little girl is great, as is her mother, but the performances are slightly ruined by lazy dubbing. There is a mini-series version that came out before the movie, Escape Into Night, I must find it.
Great story, visually haunting and very well directed, disturbing imagery (the "Blind" Father), but it was so BADLY acted. that's the only negative point I have. The little girl has no charisma on screen, and the mom has a completely emotionless delivery. it's a pity, because it could have been brilliant if better acted.
3.8 stars. It has a charming dreariness about it that feels a lot closer to childhood than many more realistically acted films. In this it shares spiritual kinship with Philip Ridley's 'The Reflecting Skin', though 'Paperhouse' is quieter. I really like the flat hammered out of shape objects which feel like congealed blobs of the unconscious. An "uncanny film" rather than a horror film. Duff ending though.
A brilliant film that easily could have faltered into blah-ness, but made it out through the narrow margins into something personal and true to the young heart. Scenes that would have made me roll my eyes in any other film were set up with enough emotional investment in Anna and Mark.