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August 7, 2019

House with a Clock in its Walls (2018) --- "The House Knows What Makes You Tick."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     After his parents die in a car accident, Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is sent to live with his estranged uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in Michigan. There he discovers that his uncle is a warlock and that with the right training Lewis can be one as well but Lewis learns that this power is not limited to only good people. An evil wizard named Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) and his wife Selena (Renee Elise Goldsberry) used black magic to construct a magical clock hidden deep within the house and as long as it keeps ticking it will continue counting down to doomsday. Time is running short and it’s up to Lewis with the help of uncle Jonathan and his eccentric best friend Mrs. Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett), who also happens to be a witch, to find the clock before it finishes its countdown and ends the world. Is Lewis strong enough to save his new family from being destroyed? Or will Isaac and Selena finally achieve their goal of ultimate power and world destruction?

     Directed by Eli Roth (Death Wish), written by Eric Kripke (Supernatural, The Boys), and based on the novel by John Bellairs, The House with the Clock in its Walls (2018) is an entertaining family-friendly horror comedy that appeals to both kids (7+) and adults. The end result is a hilarious, mildly crepy, non-stop thrilling, and slightly bizarre story that has a surprisingly dark theme for a family film.vThe visual effects were surprisingly pretty good, the setting is great, and the fast pace works well for the story.
     The cast performances were solid. Jack Black (Jumanji: Next Level) was good and surprisingly serious as Jonathan, rather than being his natural annoying and comical self. Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go Bernadette) was interesting as the eccentric and slightly cooky neighbor, and she effectively added a nice female touch to the film. Owen Vaccaro (Daddy’s Home 1 & 2) is good and has a lot to learn but sadly I didn’t feel like he was engaging enough for me. Kyle MacLachlan and Renee Elise Goldsberry were great as the film’s villains and provided a substantial amount of creepiness to the film that it could even make the adults shutter. The rest of the supporting cast members were great in the respective roles too.
     Overall, The House with the Clock in its Walls (2018) is a family-horror-comedy film that will entertain both kids and adults. The story is bizarre, hilarious, and slightly-creepy with a surprisingly dark theme that worked quite well. In a way, you could say that this film is a combination of The Addams’ Family meets Monster House meets Miss Peregrines’ Home for Peculiar Children. The cast performances were solid, the visuals were pretty good, the setting is great, and the fast pace works well for the film. All in all, I recommend this film as worth watching.

Final Vote ---  of 10 stars

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