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HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE

What to know:
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 8-18
105 minutes
FeatureFilm
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
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HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, THE cover image Click to play video trailer
Gather around and get ready to travel to a land of magic adventure and mystery, where things come to life before your eyes and people and places are different, because they are filled with magic and beauty. In this land we shall meet new people and see fabulous things that have never been seen before, such as talking couches, Griffins and much more. So come with me and you will see all the magical things that lie inside the world of The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro) is a wonderful warlock. As a mater a fact, he is my favorite warlock throughout the entirety of this film, because he grows during his adventures and becomes a better warlock, friend and family member. As he becomes a better person, we see him learn magic with the help of a few friends and family members. These scenes are just adorable.

Jonathan Barnavelt (Jack Black) and Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) are the two best magic teachers in all the land. After all, they have an entire enchanted house which they use to teach magic and they also know how to be great family members when you stay with them. These two characters have totally different personalities and that is what makes them the perfect couple. Jonathan Barnavelt is very funny and acts just like the person who portrays him, Jack Black. While Florence Zimmerman is very serious and kind, she is a lady and acts like it too. She is the perfect replica of Cate Blanchett who portrays her perfectly.

Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) and Selena Izard (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) are the villains we love to hate. I have to say that their plan for world domination is actually very scary. They make this film perfect for Halloween by adding scary little trick and treats up their sleeves that gets us into the mood for this special holiday that comes once a year.

The best scene in this film is when Lewis Barnavelt taps a water fountain and makes plants come to life as he taps it. I found my eyes lighting up, just like the stars as I watched the plants pass me by in the blink of an eye. Also, I like that it has so many different plants and that the cast interacts with them by juggling them and bouncing them on top of their heads.

I love the graphics because they not only look lifelike, but they act as if they are real, not just computerized graphics. This is one of the many reasons why I love the Griffin, the Couch and the Glass Mural. Each and every one of them has a personality and they act like people, not just old abandoned furniture that you might see in an old house such as the one that Jonathan Barnavelt and Florence Zimmerman live in.

Since this film has some scary aspects such as ventriloquist dolls, live pumpkins with faces, demons, the devil, witches, warlocks and many more, I recommend that your kids know that they are all fake and not real. As long as they know this, then they are okay and will enjoy the movie with no problems. I recommend it for ages 10 to 18 and give this film 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Morgan B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

This is an amazing live-action film. It is funny, exciting and a little spooky. I don't usually like scary movies, but this one has just the perfect amount of scary. This film is based on a novel of the same name from 1973 from writer John Bellairs. I haven't seen too many movies with Jack Black in it, but I can tell you Jack Black has usually played funnier roles. This time he plays a more serious character. Cate Blanchett is the perfect addition for this cast. I think the editing is very well done. The sound effects and the film effects are also really good and create an enchanting atmosphere. This story is a classic tale about self discovery in a beautiful magical set up, just like a good old magic trick.

The movie is directed by Eli Roth who is better known as a producer, but has directed a few films with some dark content. This is actually the director's first film not rated R.

The storyline follows a 10-year-old boy, Lewis (Owen Baccaro) who lost his parents and goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in a very old house with a peculiar thinking heart. His uncle is quite mysterious. He is a warlock and his neighbor, Florence is a good witch (Cate Blanchett). A warlock is basically a boy witch and Jonathan is not a very good one, but he is sweet and has the best intentions. Florence's spells do not always come out right, but she is very caring.

Lewis wants a normal life, but he soon discovers some strange forces dormant within the house. His new home is magical, because a long time ago, a man named Isaac (Kyle McLachlan) lived there with his wife Selena (Ren�e Elise Goldsberry) and they constructed and hid a powerful clock to bring the world into apocalypse. One day, he was doing a spell that accidentally killed himself and his unfinished purpose was hidden in the house with a clock in its walls. Lewis tries to adapt to his new strange home and school. He tries to make new friends and impress the popular boy in the school. By doing so, he releases Isaac and Selena from the tomb on Halloween night, causing chaos in the old pacific town. Lewis goes through an incredible journey in order to have the life he wants.

The story is very engaging at the beginning, but loses a bit of interest as it progresses. The actors are very good. The cinematography and production design are beautiful and immerse the audience in a fantastic world. The music and sound effects are my favorite technical aspects. To me, they become a character themselves.

I definitely give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommended from ages 8 to 18, as well as adults. The message is that things happen and you can't really change them, but magic and great things are always within our hearts. This film opens in theaters September 21, 2018.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

see youth review
Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who wanted to cause the Apocalypse so that he could see what happened afterwards. To do this, he constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it's too late, and before Isaac's wife, Selena, gets to it.
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