Paperhouse boasts a sensitivity and atmosphere rare among the scores of Hans Zimmer. While still suffering from a few of the composer's Grand Guignol excesses, its sinister electronic palette is undeniably impressive. Themes like "Is Anybody There?" and "The Staircase" subscribe to a less-is-more ethos seemingly anathema to the Zimmer aesthetic -- synthetic strings and eerily spacious melodies rely on the listener's imagination to conjure the mystery and dread lurking around every melodic corner. Only with the epic finale "Me and My Daughter, We Get on Like a House on Fire" does the composer overplay his hand, marshaling electric guitar shrieks, thundering percussion, and tortured vocals to drive home the point with his usual sledgehammer-like subtlety.
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny