The House cover

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from director Eli Roth and DreamWorks comes a magical and mystical tale about THE HOUSE WITH THE CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.

Young Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) is still grieving over the loss of his parents when finding himself on a bus to Michigan. There he is met by his Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) who Lewis realizes quickly is quite quirky. Arriving at his new home, he also meets his Uncle’s friend and neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett).

Immediately Uncle Jonathan tries to make Lewis feel at home with an amazing room of his own and free reign with only one rule – in the library is a locked bookcase and it is to be left alone. Lewis begins his first day of school as well finding himself on the outside until Tarby Corrigan (Sunny Suljic) befriends him.

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At home, Lewis suspects there is something different about his Uncle’s house and learns why from Mrs. Zimmerman. Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) was once a magical partner with Uncle Jonathan but after coming home from war – he returned a very changed man. Marrying Selena (Renee Goldsberry), the two created a clock that will count down to doomsday.

Lewis notices that Tarby isn’t as friendly anymore and tries to find a way to keep their friendship. Inviting him back to Uncle Jonathan’s, Tarby sees the cabinet and even with Lewis begging him to not open it, what happens next is even worse. The boys take the book to the local cemetery and Lewis tries to wow Tarby with what he can do.

Instead, Lewis releases something that is part of the strange happenings around Uncle Jonathan’s house. As the walls tick, Lewis, Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman must use all their powers to locate the clock before evil does!

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Black as Jonathan Barnavelt is quirky, funny, strange, animated and everything we have come to know expect from him. This is definitely the type of character he is not only good at portraying but makes it fun. Black was in last years film JUMANJI: Welcome to the Jungle and we can expect to see him again next year for a sequel.

Blanchett as Mrs. Zimmerman is just stunning to look at in her beautiful costuming and equally as stellar to watch. What I have come to love most about her performances is that she always has a look in her eye that says, “I know something you don’t”. In this film she bounces off Jack Black’s character in a game of table tennis that is just pure enjoyable to watch.

Vaccaro as Lewis is a young man trying to find his place after losing his parents. Being reserved, he is definetly different than his Uncle Jonathan. The thing is that although they may be different to begin with, they also discover that they are not so different after all. His performance is that of a young boy trying to fit in only to discover that being himself can be quite enjoyable. Suljic as Corrigan is a boy who uses a sad young man and when done – throws him back to the wolves. The thing is – the Lewis wolf came back leader of the pack!

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MacLachlan as Izard is so much fun to watch, mainly because I am a fan of MacLachlan no matter what he does. Here he gets the chance to have a little fun while being a little maniacal at the same time and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Goldsberry as Selena stands by her man, even when he’s a tad gooey and I give her props for that.

Other cast include Colleen Camp as Mrs. Hanchett, Lorenza Izzo as Mom, Braxton Bierken as Woody, De’Jon Watts as Clark, Christian Calloway as Azazel and Vanessa Anne Williams as Rose.

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is definetly a family fun film. Of course I’m not sure I’d recommend it for smaller children as there are a few creature that might scare them so lets say six years plus to be on the safe side. There are jumps and spooky elements mixed in a story line of family and new friendships.

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The special effects are amazing and I want to know where I can find a cute chair like the one in Uncle Jonathan’s house. Every effect has it’s place and is done so colorfully well that I was captivated through the entire film. I wouldn’t even mind having a lion topiary!

It is the cast of Black, Blanchett and Vacarro that make the film with the added dash of MacLachlan. They play off each other with comedy and affection which is what can be the cherry on the cake of any film.

In the end – this house knows what makes you tick!

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