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The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)

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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:

Eric Kripke (screenplay by), John Bellairs (based on the novel by)
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Popularity
862 ( 122)
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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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:

Discover a place where magic lives. 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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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, Wide Release

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story, based on John Bellairs's novel, was previously made as a television episode of CBS Library (1979). The segment was featured in the episode CBS Library: Once Upon a Midnight Scary (1979). See more »

Goofs

Florence uses the phrase "24-7", a saying that didn't come into use until the mid-1980s. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Zimmerman: So, you told Lewis everything?
Jonathan Barnavelt: Well, not everything.
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

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Liev Schreiber/Li'l Wayne (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey Lolly Lolly
Written by Jimmie Thomas and Oscar McLollie
Performed by Oscar McLollie & His Honeyjumpers
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from Universal Music Enteprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Tame horror, great pumpkins.
19 September 2018 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

My knowledge of kids' fantasy horror stories ranges from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to Something Wicked This Way Comes to Goosebumps, to Harry Potter, all a bit odd, none too horrible. However, a heavy dose of that eccentric comes with the newest children's fantasy, The House with a Clock in Its Walls. The nerdiest kids should like this film; the normal maybe not so much because it lacks heavy horror!

Young orphan Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) goes to stay with his Uncle, Jonathan (Jack Black) and neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchette). So far so good except the adults are witch and warlock and the boy precocious and eccentric. As Jonathan learns the basics of magic (not the benign Harry Potter stuff), he also learns that the dead magician Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan) has tricked out his sumptuous Victorian mansion with a doomsday clock, whose discovery now is essential for mankind's survival and whose location must be found.

It is too convoluted a story to recount except that Lewis learns about necromancy and indomitability along with a bushel of new words fitting an emerging intellectual magician, albeit strange to his classmates. Lamentably, most of the horror tropes are broad and tame. A lion defecating on the nearest boy, however, should please the younger audience.

Youngsters may squirm at raising the dead while teens can easily survive that Halloween staple. Adults will be amused although disappointed at how little the comely Blanchette is used and how little humor the too-often serious Black is in a role made to order for his goofiness. Together, however, they are a comedy team worth noting. Good chemistry.

The magic of Harry Potter is not here while some of its charm resides with Lewis and the gifted witch, Mrs. Zimmerman. Along the way the film makes points about the destructiveness of wars and offers oddly funny set pieces such as when, for example, Blanchette head butts a pumpkin.

Audiences will magically or not flock to this unusually low-key horror treat. Just don't think about that lion.


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