The House With A Clock In Its Walls

Lewis’s parents are recently deceased, so his uncle Jonathan, previously unknown to him, takes him it. It seems the peculiar apple (Owen Vaccaro) does not fall far from the odd tree (Jack Black). At first glance, it seems that Jonathan’s house merely has clocks on its walls, but there is some sort of magic afoot. The next door neighbour, Mrs. Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) is always around, and she and Jonathan seem to be in cahoots…but what are they hiding? The ghost of Lewis’s mother seems to corroborate his feeling that something’s not quite right, and a kid at his school lets it slip that his uncle’s house is known to neighbourhood kids as The Slaughter House. When Lewis finally mv5bmzq2mtlkmgmtodrmni00ztq2lwiwnwetzmmyowjkmduyy2qwxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyndqxnjcxnq@@._v1_resolves to flee in the middle of the night, he finds the house to be very uncooperative. Turns out uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman are a couple of witches, and the house is indeed haunted by the previous owner, himself a warlock, or at least haunted by the clock that he left in its walls. Every night, Jonathan searches the walls for the clock that’s driving him nuts, but so far no luck.

The House With A Clock In Its Walls may manage a PG rating, but it packs more fright per square inch than most kids’ movies. Credit director Eli Roth for that; a master of the horror genre, this might be his first movie that’s not an automatic R. Luckily Jack Black is on board, and his silly antics temper the scary stuff. He’s quite good, actually, and Cate Blanchett is mesmerizing, a vision in purple. But I think the plot is a little overdone, so we lose some of their effectiveness in its convolutions.

The House With a Clock In Its Walls has the potential to be a beautiful tribute to weirdos, even if it loses its own thread about half way through. For me, there was no way I wasn’t going to watch Cate Blanchett and her flawless hair, and I’m not sorry I watched this, not at all, but I am sorry it didn’t quite translate. Eli Roth has some fun transferring his skills to a family-friendly film, but it’s not quite enough, he doesn’t quite strike the right tone, and this movie ends up being just okay – this despite Blanchett’s mighty spell.

 

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “The House With A Clock In Its Walls

  1. Yeo Ye Hang

    Yeah completely agree. It’s a decent movie but I don’t feel like there’s much rewatch value in it. And it was rather “scary” for it’s rating

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  2. Terri, Reclaiming Hope

    When I saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was going to be a funny, interesting kid’s movie. It was completely different than I thought it would be, and I was extremely relieved that only my husband and I were watching it. I would never want to take a kid to see something that scary.

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  3. Kariyanine

    This is actually the first Eli Roth movie I’ve skipped out on because, while I actively want to like the guy, his films have been a steady steam of disappointment for me.

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  4. Gemma

    Jack Black’s head on that baby was creepier than anything in IT. I can’t unseen that portion šŸ™‚ Agreed Cate Blanchett is awesome in everything!

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  5. ninvoid99

    I do want to see this as I’m fond of Eli Roth as I heard he wanted to do something different and I applaud him for wanting to go into a different route than his usual gory approach to horror.

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  6. Liz A.

    I was wondering about this one. I see my take from the trailer is about right. I may have to see this, but when it’s on TV.

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  7. StephLove

    I promised to take North to see this but when I read the reviews I didn’t think I could bear it, as I loved the book so much as a child. I was going to do it anyway, because a promise is a promise but Beth saved me by volunteering to take my place.

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  8. mydangblog

    I’d watch this just for Cate Blanchett–I love her in pretty much everything she’s ever done. I keep wanting to rewatch The Gift, but with most video stores closed down now, it’s hard to find now.

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