#REVIEW: “THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
From visionary Director Eli Roth comes a new nightmare, for children this time around, The House with a Clock in its Walls. The Movie based on John Bellairs’ Book is geared to children, but not too young, though it doesn’t quiet gear to a teen audience – it’s tucked somewhere in between. Thankfully, charismatic Jack Black breathes life into the Film, despite digging a bit to find his best footing.
The Film starts off in 1955 with Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) and we learn that with his parents passing away, he now will be under the care of his uncle whom he’s never met before, Jonathan (Jack Black). Upon arriving at the house, he starts to realize that not everything is not as it appears and that there is a magical element about the house. He meets Jack’s neighbour and friend Florence (Cate Blanchett) and things then take flight. Johnathan reveals to Lewis that he is a Warlock and teaches Lewis the ways of boy witches. Through a series of mishaps revolving around him trying to fit in, an evil Warlock is risen from the dead and humanity is at stake. Lewis, Jonathan and Florence are the only three who potentially can stop this unspeakable evil.
Black tones-down his eccentricity a bit and is a joy to watch. However Vaccaro still is learning and never quite is fully in his element. Sunny Suljic (The Killing of a Sacred, Mid90s) however, is magnetic and on-point. Blanchett while not at her best here, certainly is a draw for audiences despite leaving little room to relish in the Film’s more light-hearted comedic elements.
The Third Act has a message of owning one’s mistakes, accepting mortality and being accepted for one’s true self, which is uplifting. While the Film certainly has some Goosebumps-esque vibes to it, a compliment, admittedly it does feel a bit rushed particularly late.
Universal Pictures Canada release THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS in theatres Friday, September 21, 2018.