Llanelli Star - - Film Reviews -

MANKIND un­know­ingly teeters on the brink of de­struc­tion and a 10-year-old boy holds the key to our sal­va­tion in this fam­i­lyfriendly ad­ven­ture from di­rec­tor Eli Roth.

Young­ster Owen Vac­caro plays scaredy-cat Lewis Bar­navelt, who trav­els by bus to the 1950s com­mu­nity of Zebedee in Michigan to live with his es­tranged un­cle Jonathan (Jack Black). The boy’s quixotic rel­a­tive wears a ki­mono and lives in a creepy house full of tick­ing clocks.

It tran­spires that the build­ing used to be­long to a de­ranged cou­ple who con­cealed a Dooms­day clock within the walls. Jonathan, a war­lock, and his sharp­tongued neigh­bour Florence Zim­mer­man (Cate Blanchett), a kindly witch, hope to lo­cate the de­monic time­piece be­fore the end of days.

Lewis joins the quest in the hope that he might shake his tag as the “creepy lit­tle runt” at school.

The bat­tle be­tween good and evil un­folds un­der the nose of snoop­ing next-door neigh­bour Mrs Hanchett (Colleen Camp).

The House With A Clock In Its Walls is an en­ter­tain­ing and out­landish yarn, which de­lights un­til a freaky fi­nal 15 min­utes when mad­ness takes hold and Roth flings dig­i­tal trick­ery at the screen in the hope some­thing will stick.

The ex­cel­lent ensem­ble cast are the aces up Roth’s sleeve and he deals them wisely.

From left are Cate Blanchett, Owen Vac­caro and Jack Black

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