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FutureStarrThe House With a Clock in Its Wallsor
STARRING: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Kyle MacLachlan, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Colleen Camp,the house with a clock in its wallsFrom the moment he opens the door, there is no telling when another monster might leap out and attack. To survive, Lewis and his uncle must solve a series of magical puzzles to gradually escape the home of the mysterious Mr. Underwood.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a 2018 American fantasy comedy film directed by Eli Roth, starring Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic, and Kyle MacLachlan. It is based on the 1973 novel of the same name by John Bellairs, which was the first in a series of 12 books. The film follows a young boy, Lewis, who is sent to live with his uncle, Jonathan, in a creaky, old house. He soon learns it was previously inhabited by an evil warlock.
During the night, Lewis is puzzled when he hears a ticking sound in the walls. Lewis begins exploring the house and stumbles upon Jonathan smashing a wall with an ax. Frightened, he runs away and encounters multiple household objects coming to life. Jonathan confesses that he is a warlock and Florence is a witch. The house's previous owners were a sinister warlock named Isaac Izard, (an orphaned former friend of Jonathan's who was traumatized while fighting in WWII), and his equally wicked wife Selena. Isaac and Selena had apparently hidden a clock within the walls of the house before they died, and Jonathan has been trying to find the clock and discover its purpose. Despite Jonathan's cautions, Lewis begins teaching himself magic. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)
Parents need to know that The House with a Clock in Its Walls is based on John Bellairs' same-named 1970s children's book. It marks the first younger-skewing spookfest from Hostel director Eli Roth, who considers this film a "starter horror movie" for families and tweens. But it's definitely a "know your kid" situation: The movie is very creepy, and there are a few scenes that are downright scary/jump-worthy for kids. There are scary toys/dolls, ominous sounds, a demon, witchcraft, necromancy, and the occult, but (spoiler alert!) the "good" witch and warlocks ultimately prevail against the forces of evil that are threatening them and the world. In one scene, a boy hurts kid protagonist Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), but later Lewis magically makes a basketball hit two bullies during a game. "Damn" and "hell" are used a couple of times, and several mild insults are traded by two adult friends (Jack Black and Cate Blanchett). A married couple kisses. Parents who enjoy horror movies will appreciate this introduction to the genre, but families with sensitive kids should think about whether they're up for even a "light" fright flick. Those who do watch will appreciate the movie's messages about teamwork, perseverance, friendship, and facing your fears.
John Bellairs (1938-1991) was an award-winning American author of many gothic mystery novels for children and young adults, including The House with a Clock in Its Walls - which received both the New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year Award and the American Library Association Children's Books of International Interest Award - The Lamp from the Warlock's Tomb, which won the Edgar Award and The Specter from the Magician's Museum, which won the New York Public Library 'Best Books for the Teen Age' Award. (Source: www.allenandunwin.com)