THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (PG)
A MAGIC RESIDENCE IN NEED OF A GOOD TOCKING TOO, US, 105 MIN A family-friendly(ish) affair released just in time for the school holidays, The House with a Clock in Its
Walls is an endearingly odd mash-up of some tried-and-true elements. What mostly comes to mind is a mildly Americanised Harry Potter adventure, and any old Goosebumps tale you can’t quite recall. The house in the title is a School of Witchcraft and Warlockery, run by a kooky spell-caster named Jonathan Barnavelt (Jack Black). The only student on the books is his 10year-old orphan nephew Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), and the only other teacher on staff is nononsense enchantress Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett). As for the clock in the walls, that’s been planted there as a paranormal prank by Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan), the former owner of the happily haunted home. This deceased gent may or may not be leaving the local graveyard to look up his old address soon. With the production duties being handled by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin company, the specialeffects work here is top notch. However, it should be mentioned that some fantasy sequences may be too frightening for some younger viewers.
JACK BLACK, OWEN VACCARO AND CATE BLANCHETT STAR IN THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.