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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
740 ( 29)
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:

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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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

Famed Goth artist Edward Gorey did the illustrations for the novel that this film is based on. See more »

Goofs

Jonathan's last name is Barnavelt, the same as Lewis. But Jonathan is Lewis' mother's brother, and his last name should be her maiden name, not Barnavelt. The only ways they both could be named Barnavelt would be if her husband's name also just happened to be Barnavelt, or if the family used a naming convention that was extremely unusual and nonconforming by the standards of 1940s-1950s America. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Barnavelt: Have a look around, it's perfectly safe...
[a tentacled monster opens a door, Jonathan shoves it back]
Lewis Barnavelt: THAT's safe?
Jonathan Barnavelt: As long as it's fed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the animated main-on-end credits roll, the chair chases the griffin topiary with a chainsaw. Then a statement appears: "No chairs or topiary griffins were harmed in the making of this film." 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 Barbie: The Pearl Princess (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

What Will You Do Next
Written by Johnny Bragg (as John Henry Bragg) and William H Billy Stewart
Performed by Prisonaires
Courtesy of Sun Records
By arrangement with Sugaroo!
See more »

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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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