19 March 2020

The House With a Clock in its Walls (2018)

Somewhere between Harry Potter and Goosebumps, there’s The House with the Clock in its Walls.

Ten-year-old orphan Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his strange uncle in a creaky old house whose walls contain a mysterious tick-tocking magic. When Lewis accidentally disturbs the dead, the sleepy town comes alive with dark witchery.

Based on the 1970s John Bellairs children’s book of the same name, the movie stars Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Golden Globe nominee Jack Black, as well as Golden Globe winner Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks). 

Common Sense Media recommends this spookfest for ages 11+. It’s the first younger-audience film from award-winning horror filmmaker Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever), who’s called it a “starter horror movie”.  

Junior – and grownup – fans of magical adventure, dark fantasy and comedy horror will love it, but sensitive viewers be warned: The House oozes creep factor and there are a good few jump scares that’ll put the heebies into you.

Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus calls it, “An entertaining PG detour for gore maestro Eli Roth,” saying, “The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a family-friendly blend of humor and horror with an infectious sense of fun.” “A bullseye,” says Slate, “perfectly balanced between funny and scary.” 

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