After losing both parents in a car accident, Lewis travels by coach to New Zebedee, Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in his large, creepy house. Jonathan’s neighbour, Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) seems to spend most of her time there too. They’re old friends, with a kind of love-hate relationship. The house is full of clocks and, as you’ve probably guessed from the title of the movie, there is an even more mysterious clock that lies hidden somewhere within its walls. As strange things occur within the house, Lewis discovers that Johnathan is in fact a warlock, Florence a good witch, and that the house once belonged to a powerful warlock with intentions to use the clock as part of some catastrophic and evil plan.
Directed by Eli Roth, The House With A Clock In Its Walls oozes style and creepiness. It has scares that will terrify younger children, and keep the parents entertained. And it has a good amount of humour dotted throughout. For me though, it it was a case of all style and not enough substance. Despite being based on the first in a series of 12 books, with this first story being published in 1973, the movie version just feels like an amalgamation of things we’ve seen time and again in recent years on our screens. Harry Potter, Miss Peregrine, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Even the trailer made me think of the Goosebumps movie.
I’m probably being a little harsh, and the latter third of the movie did turn out to be a lot more enjoyable than the first two thirds. I guess I was just hoping for something a bit more out of this.
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“Once he has discovered something, he wants to be off onto the next thing, rather than spending time and elaborating”
My primary school teacher had me pretty well sussed from a young age when writing this in one of my school reports, but with CineChat I’m determined to change all of that. Even though my movie and TV watchlist continues to grow almost as quickly as my available spare time shrinks, I’m going to ensure I spend time elaborating on each one I do manage to tick off the list!