The House With A Clock In Its Walls Review: Enchanting, Creepy and Festive
Updated: Sep 25
The fall season upon us and with it a number of various movies hitting the scene. Some movies become surprises while others tend to be forgotten. The movie in question may in fact be a latter which is the new fantasy film known as The House with A Clock In Its Walls. Directed by Eli Roth the movie is based on the 1973 novel by John Bellairs. With its sense of magic this adaption looked to be an enjoyable fantasy film for the fall season, and after watching The House with A Clock In Its Walls I can say that the new blockbuster was just that.
The story centers on Lewis (Oscar Vaccaro) who moves in with his estranged uncle Johnathan (Jack Black). There Lewis discovers that things are not what they seem as not only does the boy learn about magic but finds out about a mysterious clock that plagues his new home. The plot was a simple tale but an effective one nonetheless. While things may have been simple the plot executed its concepts in a adequate fashion.The mystery behind the house was investing as it kept me engaged throughout the entire movie A surprising factor for the story was how well paced it was. The movie took its time to tell the story at hand and it never felt like it was dragging itself along nor did it rush itself either. At its core the plot of The House with A Clock In Its Walls was one that focused on mystery and magic, and the for most part the movie succeeded in bringing these supernatural aspects to life.
The film featured a small cast but that seemed to work to the movie’s favor. While the character of Oscar was a solid one it was the duo of Jonathan and Mrs.Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) that really stole the show. Both characters were sound in their traits and progression, but what really stood out to me was their chemistry. The duo’s banter was invigorating as was their confidence in each other, and it was surprising to see just how well Jack Black and Cate Blanchett were able to work off each other. The supporting cast was decent enough and they certainly did there jobs, but there was very little to this group that made any significant character stand out. In the case of the villain there was a little more to Issac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) then I would have anticipated. Although Isaac was not a show stealing antagonist, his presence and motivation provided the dark warlock some dimensions that made him more than just a typical villain.
When it came to spectacle The House with A Clock In Its Walls was better than expected. Seeing the effects in the trailers I was not in awed by what this movie had to offer, but after seeing the final presentation the film’s cgi turned out to be efficient as it meshed well with the film’s cinematography. Equally as impressive was the movie’s use of practical effects which certainly helped to bring the horror aspect behind the story to life, and it blended well with the movie’s vfx. The score by Nathan Barr was fitting for the movie as it provided dynamic music with a sense of fantasy to it. Technical aspects aside an intriguing factor to this movie was its tone and how well balanced it ended up being. The movie could feature light hearted moments seen in a family friendly genre as well as have dark moment reminiscent to that of a horror film, and not once did the atmospheres clash with each other.
The House with A Clock in Its Walls was a delight. Although the film could be pretty standard in the likes of story and characters its delivery more than made up for its shortcomings. When it came down to it there was a sense of creativity behind this adaptation and that aloud the movie to stand out from the rest. The House with a Clock in Its Walls may not have been the most glamorous of blockbuster but the movie was a fitting one for the season and at the very least an entertaining fantasy film.