The House with a Clock in its Walls
Was genuinely shocked a day ago when I found out that this was a film directed by Eli Roth. You wouldn’t expect this from the director known for his notoriously gory horror films. I’m always down to see a filmmaker branch out, take risks, and try something out of their comfort zone. This films trailer didn’t exactly light a fire and impress but for what it is I think it was fine. I think the film is marketed for a younger audience and they will enjoy it. Its nothing amazing or groundbreaking but is a time pass film. That wasn’t really a comment related to time or clocks.
The film is about a boy whose parent’s recently passed away. He now has to go live with his uncle, who lives in a very strange house. The boy soon realizes that the house and his uncle are stranger than they seem. The uncle is a warlock, and the house is basically alive. There is a clock hidden within the house placed there by the former inhabitant. Things happen, and the boy resurrects this owner. He soon realizes the mistake he has caused and must then try to stop this evil spirit from accessing this clock within the house.
Apart from the inclusion of Lorenza Izzo (Roth’s former wife), you can’t really place this as an Eli Roth film. The effects are mixed, they seem bad at times and other times seem passable. The lead Owen Vaccaro was surprisingly good (normally not a fan of child actors). Black and Blanchett are good talents to boot, although their quips at one another were fairly lame. I get it though, its a film marketed towards kids. The film seems unbalanced in plot, especially with Lewis trying to impress his friend and just the way that progresses in general. You’ll get your PG, family friendly excitement here. Its reminiscent of a lite-Harry Potter which is okay.
I can see Roth and the studio push for a sequel if the film does well, but honestly there wasn’t enough excitement or wonder in it for it to warrant one. I think it works as a one off adventure but it is forgettable once you leave the theater. The final verdict, it’ll wow the young ones and be a good family film but overall won’t leave a lasting impression. For what it is, its decent and that’s that.