THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (12A) ★★★★★
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