6.0/10
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428 user 213 critic

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)

Trailer
2:37 | Trailer
A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

Director:

Eli Roth

Writers:

John Bellairs (based on the novel by), Eric Kripke (screenplay by)
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Popularity
1,944 ( 234)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Black ... Jonathan Barnavelt
Cate Blanchett ... Florence Zimmerman
Owen Vaccaro ... Lewis Barnavelt
Kyle MacLachlan ... Isaac Izard
Renée Elise Goldsberry ... Selena Izard
Colleen Camp ... Mrs. Hanchett
Sunny Suljic ... Tarby Corrigan
Lorenza Izzo ... Mother
Braxton Bjerken ... Woody Mingo
Vanessa Anne Williams ... Rose Rita Pottinger
Ricky Muse ... Bus Driver (as Ricky Lynn Muse)
Charles Green ... Soda Jerk
De'Jon Watts ... Clark (as DJ Watts)
Aaron Beelner ... Clown Automaton
Joshua Phillips Joshua Phillips ... Clown Automaton
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Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.

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Storyline

Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. He discovers his uncle is a warlock, and enters a world of magic and sorcery. But this power is not limited to good people: Lewis learns of Isaac Izard, an evil wizard who constructed a magical clock with black magic, as long as it exists it will keep ticking, counting down to doomsday. He died before he could finish the clock, but he hid the clock in his house, where Uncle Jonathan now lives. Now Lewis and Jonathan must find the clock before it finishes its countdown and ends the world.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Magic lives behind every door. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Black says the first and final lines in this movie. See more »

Goofs

Both Lewis and his mother use the word "anyways". This incorrect, distorted pronunciation of the word "anyway" did not become widely popular until recent decades. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jonathan Barnavelt: [writing letter] Dear Lewis: Enclosed, please find one bus ticket and two silver dollars for your trip to Michigan. I'm really sorry about the loss of your parents. Your mom was my sister, so that makes you family. And I'll do my best to make you feel right at home. As Einstein said, life is like a bicycle. To stay balanced, you got to keep moving forward. And so will we. I look forward to meeting you. Your Uncle Jonathan. PS Sorry for the stain on the letter. That's chocolate.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Reliance Entertainment logo is sepia-toned. See more »

Alternate Versions

Theatrical versions of the movie are longer by 10 seconds, with a bumper for Universal Parks and Resorts placed before the Amblin Partners logo. this is removed from home video releases however, instead cutting directly to the Amblin Partners logo after the credits. See more »

Connections

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Tall Sally
Written by Enotris Johnson (as Entoris Johnson), Little Richard (as Richard Penniman) and Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell (as Robert Blackwell)
Performed by Little Richard
Courtesy of Concord Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Better handled than expected
22 September 2018 | by jwwalrath-227-85487See all my reviews

I'll be honest, I was a little worried about this considering that: a) This is the first children's film from torture porn horror director Eli Roth not to mention the first time he's helmed a film with an attempted big visual flair. b) The film is more humorous than the book. I was afraid it might be too hard to be Goosebumps. Luckily, both my fears were abated.

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett have excellent chemistry together. They're both quite humorous, but they also nail the characters' more serious moments. It's weird that a trifecta of children's/family films has produced some of Jack Black's best roles. Although, you feel a bit more of the Jack Black personality here than in his other two roles, he does manifest the character of Uncle Jonathan, the fun uncle who also has a secret undertaken. Overall, all the characters are really well-fleshed out here.

Visually the film looks great from the 50s' setting to the entire look of the lavish house from the title, especially the scary visuals. Really, they rank with the likes of Tim Burton or Krampus.

The film knows when to have fun, but it knows when to bring on the scares. As a child I preferred the original book and the other works of John Bellairs over Goosebumps, because the horror was played more directly and seriously, and this movie understands that. Cautious parents be aware that this is as scary as a PG movie can get. Well, maybe not as much as The Witches, but what is. This is definitely Coraline level.

The only downside is that at a running time of one hour and forty-four minutes, the second act, which is heavy on the character bits, drags a bit. Most of the action doesn't happen till the third act.

Roth surpassed my expectations here, and I hope he gets a chance at adapting the second book in the series.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA | Canada | India

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The House with a Clock in Its Walls See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$42,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,608,020, 23 September 2018

Gross USA:

$68,549,695

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$131,457,147
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS (DTS: X)| Auro 11.1 | IMAX 6-Track | Dolby Atmos (Dolby Atmos+Vision)| Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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