The House With A Clock In Its Walls
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When ten-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) moves in with his eccentric uncle (Jack Black), his life gets a lot more interesting – and dangerous. Sure, getting to move in to a mysterious old mansion full of wonders and oddities may sound like any kid’s dream, but most mansions don’t come with a particularly ominous built-in tick-tocking sound. In addition to meeting his uncle’s friend Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett), Lewis discovers their secretive world of warlocks and witches. And then Lewis, you know, accidentally awakens the dead. Whoops. Based on the classic children’s book written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is directed by Eli Roth (Hostel) and written by Eric Kripke (creator of TV’s Supernatural). The film also stars Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, and Renée Elise Goldsberry.
- Jack Black
- Cate Blanchett
- Owen Vaccaro
- Kyle MacLachlan
- Renée Elise Goldsberry
- Colleen Camp
- Sunny Suljic
- Lorenza Izzo
- Braxton Bjerken
- Vanessa Anne Williams
Did You Know?
- The novel this movie is based on contained illustrations by famed illustrator Edward Gorey.
- The film is set in 1955, yet the school in the film features several non-Caucasian students. This is only a year after Brown V. Board of Education, so it's highly unlikely the school would not only have this high of a minority population, but also no discrimination of any kind.
- [to Lewis]
- Jonathan Barnavelt: You'll see, things are quite different here.
Atom User Reviews
took the kids to see this and they will most likely be having nightmares. what the trailers comes across as a cutsey movie about magic is actually kinda creepy, and more adult than expected.
I saw this movie yesterday and still don't know how I feel about it. Parts of it were very creepy including Jack Black's performance. The movie is reminiscent of Goosebumps. I did like Cate Blanchett's character as well as the little boy playing the nephew. The movie was extremely predictable but I will say there was some funny moments as well as some juvenile comedy. All in all it was ok. I would not recommend it for young children because it could cause nightmares.
Roth and screenwriter Eric Kripke’s adaptation of The House With a Clock in its Walls is a bullseye, perfectly balanced between funny and scary.
As a family film in that vein it largely succeeds, buoyed by Black’s typical exuberance, Blanchett’s typical slyness and a richly evocative rendering of a Rockwellian suburb sprinkled with goofer dust. Less interesting, as is the way with many audience-avatar YA protagonists (sorry, Harry), is the main character, and Vaccaro’s rather hyper-articulated performance doesn’t help.
Despite a fantastical premise and some truly eye-popping effects, The House With A Clock In Its Walls suffers from post-Potter fatigue; there’s simply nothing here, visual or thematic, that hasn’t been done before.