Universal Pictures | Release Date: September 21, 2018
6.1
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Generally favorable reviews based on 48 Ratings
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23
Mixed:
18
Negative:
7
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5
BrianMcCriticSep 29, 2018
A film that never really catches on under that Amblin umbrella. It's not all bad and Jack Black and Cate Blanchett are giving it all they got, but poor scene structure and a plot that bored me for much of the first half makes this filmA film that never really catches on under that Amblin umbrella. It's not all bad and Jack Black and Cate Blanchett are giving it all they got, but poor scene structure and a plot that bored me for much of the first half makes this film unremarkable. Still probably Eli Roth's best movie though that's not saying much. Overall a middle to low 5 a C. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
clarkaddisonSep 24, 2018
This film had two kids crying in my showing. It has the kid humor with some adult jokes for parents to get but at its core this film is just another kids book adapted into a mold for cinematic goers. Necromancy, demons, and holocaustThis film had two kids crying in my showing. It has the kid humor with some adult jokes for parents to get but at its core this film is just another kids book adapted into a mold for cinematic goers. Necromancy, demons, and holocaust references are a little too much for kids. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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0
miamiprincess06Sep 26, 2018
This movie was being marketed to small children as an innocent, fun, magical adventure. It starts out with an intriguing story about a boy exploring his new life in his weird uncle's enchanted house. "Innocent" wizardry and magic isThis movie was being marketed to small children as an innocent, fun, magical adventure. It starts out with an intriguing story about a boy exploring his new life in his weird uncle's enchanted house. "Innocent" wizardry and magic is introduced, and very quickly the movie took a DARK, MENACING, and DEMONIC turn. Now the boy is bringing evil wizards back from the dead, facing walking devil dolls, and learning how the evil wizard got his power from a demon in a very graphic and gory visual. My girls were terrified of the movie, and the only reason we stayed is because they wanted to see good triumph the bad and make some sense of the whole debacle. I am furious that this movie has a PG rating. There is blood, gore, scary themes, witchcraft, dark magic, and much more that should have brought this to a PG-13 with cautionary warnings. As a parent, I should have done some very easy-to-find research on this movie, but as this was a spur-of-the-moment decision, I assumed that the trailer would be enough. How wrong I was. The trailer is light and whimsical compared to what was hidden inside this film. I will tell you what the critics will not... This is not a movie for children. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
Davrosdaleks1Sep 21, 2018
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) TheI'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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2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
Megajohn85Sep 21, 2018
Mix Crimson Peak with Goosebumps and throw in a dash of Harry Potter and you get a film that’s surprisingly fun for all ages
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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6
JPKSep 22, 2018
Just A Typical But Kinda Fun Fantasy Film
This Film Really Doesn't Do Anything New, But It's Fun I Guess.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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9
manningn15Sep 25, 2018
The casts performances were stupendous especially Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, and Owen Vaccaro. The banter between Jack Black and Cate Blanchett's characters was hilarious. The visual effects and set designs were spectacular. The story andThe casts performances were stupendous especially Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, and Owen Vaccaro. The banter between Jack Black and Cate Blanchett's characters was hilarious. The visual effects and set designs were spectacular. The story and screenplay were fantastic. I also thought the film score was well done. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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0
RidrimeSep 25, 2018
Caution to Parents! This movie and rating is a ruse. This should have been PG-13 at best. Not suited for young children,Christians or anybody with any sense. It is all about Witchcraft and satanic rituals. This is where Hollyweird is goingCaution to Parents! This movie and rating is a ruse. This should have been PG-13 at best. Not suited for young children,Christians or anybody with any sense. It is all about Witchcraft and satanic rituals. This is where Hollyweird is going and we need to resist it. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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3
duanewilliamsSep 24, 2018
I thought it was rather boring, compared to the Harry Potter Series. Perhaps it would have been better if there had been a serious background story, which was a strong feature of Harry Potter. Of course, if there had been a seriousI thought it was rather boring, compared to the Harry Potter Series. Perhaps it would have been better if there had been a serious background story, which was a strong feature of Harry Potter. Of course, if there had been a serious background story, then this movie would have been entirely different! Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful02
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8
NolanLundgaardSep 23, 2018
“House” was a pretty good movie. The beginning and climax of the story were SO good (10/10 worthy), I just wish I could say the same about the ending. This part of the story relied too much on CGI. While I don’t mind a little bit of it used“House” was a pretty good movie. The beginning and climax of the story were SO good (10/10 worthy), I just wish I could say the same about the ending. This part of the story relied too much on CGI. While I don’t mind a little bit of it used now and then, I felt a little hit over the head with it. I also would have appreciated less “bush-lion” poop jokes about using the litter box instead of blasting people with leaves (poop?). Besides that, I had a great experience with House, and I would recommend it to people who enjoyed the Harry Potter films, Doctor Strange, and the Goosebumps movie. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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2
Moviebuff63Sep 21, 2018
I went to see "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" not with high hopes but expecting to find it entertaining, fun and energetic. As a fan of both Jack Black and Cate Blanchett I expected it to be at least good. Both Blanchett and Black doI went to see "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" not with high hopes but expecting to find it entertaining, fun and energetic. As a fan of both Jack Black and Cate Blanchett I expected it to be at least good. Both Blanchett and Black do their best with the material provided and do elevate the movie frequently. The young actor portraying Black's character's 10 year old orphaned nephew is played by Owen Vaccaro. He shines throughout. His character's desire for childhood friendship and acceptance is genuine and heartfelt. It's the writing and plot that sinks this movie. I'm not sure who the target audience is for this movie. Although it aims clearly for a "Harry Potter" and "Goosebumps" audience it misses the mark wildly. It tries to be fun and occasionally is but then turns very dark. Occult and demonic themes do not cater to young audiences. It tries to be whimsical at times and at times succeeds at whimsy but this movie is ALL over the place. Teens seem bored with the movie as I witnessed a number of walkouts during the movie. It's too dark for small children. Speaking for adults, I found it tries too hard to be too many things and target wide audiences, clearly aiming for fans of the Harry Potter and Goosebumps franchises. Expand
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6
TVJerrySep 27, 2018
A recently-orphaned boy goes to live with his uncle (Jack Black) in an enchanted mansion, where he learns about enchantments that lead to the inevitable threatening showdown. This adaptation of the children's book is a hybrid of many magicalA recently-orphaned boy goes to live with his uncle (Jack Black) in an enchanted mansion, where he learns about enchantments that lead to the inevitable threatening showdown. This adaptation of the children's book is a hybrid of many magical fantasies, so there must be something more than the plot to make it appealing. Director Eli Roth (best known for his violent horror films) is bringing his skills to the PG-genre and manages to create a few creepy moments. Even with all the fantastical effects (and Cate Blanchett's charms) there's a certain blandness that keeps it from ever being original or exciting. Still, for the youngsters it'll provide plenty of visual pop and mild thrills. Expand
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9
alianorareeOct 2, 2018
A marvelous bit of dark fantasy. Please note: in addition to being enchanting, this movie is legitimately spooky and darkly atmospheric, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it for younger children.
Having read the books I was confused when I saw
A marvelous bit of dark fantasy. Please note: in addition to being enchanting, this movie is legitimately spooky and darkly atmospheric, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it for younger children.
Having read the books I was confused when I saw the movie listed as a comedy, but it worked quite well overall. During a couple of the comedic moments Black veered a bit too far toward melodrama, but otherwise his Jonathon was delightful. The rest of the cast was also good, but Lorenza Izzo (Lewis' mother) was absolutely perfect. I really hope they make more movies based on books from this series.
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6
DavidWasHereSep 29, 2018
So I had no real interest in watching this film really. There wasn't much out and my mom wanted to see this movie, and I begrudgingly went because it looked like the best option out, plus it has Kyle MacLachlan in it (Twin Peaks forever!!!).So I had no real interest in watching this film really. There wasn't much out and my mom wanted to see this movie, and I begrudgingly went because it looked like the best option out, plus it has Kyle MacLachlan in it (Twin Peaks forever!!!). So I went and I honestly got to say it was surprisingly decent. I won't say this movie is good, given that I rated it as an average film in my books, but it was better than what I expected.

Owen Vaccaro is okay as the lead role. I won't say it's amazing, but for child acting he's passable. There are a few bad deliveries from him, but for the most part he didn't annoy me. Most of the child acting here is alright too. The adult acting is far better, and no one foamed in a performance as they all really cared about making the film, which is a huge plus! Jack Black is probably the weak link of the bunch as his usual Jack Black shtick sticks out in the 1950s setting, but for the most part he was pretty good. Cate Blanchett is great as usual, and her and Jack Black do have great banter and funny quips at each other. Kyle MacLachlan doesn't get a ton to do, but he's good as usual, plus his role as the big bad is actually rather menacing than what we usually get from family films.

The biggest surprise for me was that Eli Roth of all people did a decent job directing. And I am not saying that because he diverted from his usual extreme horror and gorefest films, I actually do not like him as a director honestly. He usually relies more on cheap thrills than on actually making interesting or fun movies to watch, which is very clear given the terrible remake to Death Wish earlier this year. And while I still don't think he's all that great of a director, the shot composition is basic and uninspired, the movie does come to life whenever the film gets to the magical, weirder, and darker moments of the film, which are the highlights of the film. The more creepy and strange the movie gets, the more alive it feels. There's a lot of charm and a reminder of earlier Tim Burton films like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, which is always a plus. Roth did make a ton of effort in making the film and it does show. There's a ton of energy and enthusiasm that comes from the film with the cast and terrific production design. The costumes, makeup, and prop design do a great job creating a strange looking film, and more than makes up for the by-the-number film-making.

However I cannot really say this movie would make up for how generic the film is. And I don't mean the premise is generic, it certainly is unique of a premise. However when it comes with the structure, you've seen this before in a lot of children's films, right down to the cliched conflicts and character traits. It's a very safe film even with the scary elements that do manage to spice up the average structure of the film. The charm of the film does make up for it, but if the movie does not have any interest in this film, you don't have to watch it. Families and kids will enjoy it, but for the most part you can just rent it or watch it on TV or Netflix as background noise. Again not bad, just kind of pleasantly average.
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4
TrevorsViewSep 27, 2018
In just one month, it will be time to hand candy out to kids at your door wearing cheap costumes. It will be time to pull out the Halloween classics: Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, just to name a few. Those seasonal favoritesIn just one month, it will be time to hand candy out to kids at your door wearing cheap costumes. It will be time to pull out the Halloween classics: Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas, just to name a few. Those seasonal favorites are admittedly low in artistic quality, and The House with a Clock in Its Walls is no exception as it takes a similar tone to the numerous quirks of Halloween-ish children’s entertainment. Yet despite this completely ridiculous plot reliant on gags over sensical situations, a decade or two from now a cult following could very well be picked up amongst a full generation!

I was ready to hate this goofy family entertainment much like I did A Wrinkle in Time, but for some outlandish reason, I found a soft spot for this flawed motion picture despite the MANY unmotivated performances that lowered the quality. I somehow don’t mind the bad acting and dialogue, because the twistedly magical artistic scale so strongly amplifies the size of the orphan protagonist, Lewis’s new teeny tiny house. In his new home, he along with his uncle (Jack Black) and neighbor (Cate Blanchett) must embrace a common concept of being the family’s black swan, since they each share a weirdness outside their front porch adorned with jack-o-lanterns. With trusty goggles, Lewis takes on an indominable insect virtue, his little ant size made smaller by the mundane brown hues of his school. But that’s still quite tame compared to a climactic lunar eclipse that eventually casts a giant blood red tint across the screen to tear down all life.

It’s certainly a wicked sense of cinematic appeal, but this glamorous fantasy also beautifies witchcraft, even giving a tutorial of blood payment that shows young minds how cultic practices works. At a more personal level, some of the more tasteless jokes include lingering on one slow boy on crutches in gym class, who gets lightly mocked, “good hustle” by the coach. Thus, viewer discretion is advised.

But hey, at least it’s funny as expected, once Jack Black pulls out a saxophone solo, dogs start howling while his live griffin bush covers its ears. Then that griffin bush, as if it were the family cat, poops into the backyard pond against its master’s orders, which sounds gross, but personally got a decent laugh out of me. But this mock Addams Family also stays grounded into reality with the appropriate 1950s tunes, until the heartbeats behind the moonlit walls tick-tock to set off the inner adrenaline. It’s a nice balance between funny filler guaranteed to entertain kids, and fun unsettlement from the perspective of a poor little orphan.

Yet despite the frightening imagery, it’s very unlikely that kids will relate to this style over substance experience. The boys have Lewis to connect with, who doesn’t have that much of a personality anyway, but the girls have no characters to relate to except one pointless girl from Lewis’ school who is around for approximately three scenes. She’s also one of the worst actors in the film, almost like they brought out a crew member’s daughter last minute. The adults are not out of the clear in being easily relatable either, as none of the veteran actors receive proper direction to be anything but doofuses. Case in point: there is a montage that forces Jack Black to levitate, which is admittedly a funny scene, but the wires he dangles on are obvious to notice, much like Winona Ryder “levitating” at the very end of Beetlejuice.

The cast members simply can’t enlighten the awful screenplay, since when the writing doesn’t abuse plot driven exposition through film reels, it implants bothersome name-calling between Jack and Cate that concludes its arc with a tossed around sense of heart. Now Cate, I particularly detested in this feature, she is supposedly written to be a “new” mother figure to Lewis but can’t generate sincere drama with a voice of reason. However, Cate still doesn’t annoy as much as Owen Vaccaro as Lewis, who overacts to force everyone’s attention on him, screaming loud enough to crack cement. He doesn’t even give a hint of emotion to hearing that this new uncle he’s living with has complete freedom of house rules. These visions he has at night of his dead mother are particularly hard to watch, as the actress playing her just stares at what seems like a total stranger, not who is supposedly her own son. Yeah, unfortunately, aside from Jack Black (who even then is mediocre at best), I have virtually nothing nice to say about any of the actors or actresses in this entire feature.

Despite the fun I had while watching this, understand that it’s still my job to discuss the negative qualities of every film I review. So odds are, you aren’t missing anything with The House with a Clock in Its Walls, but if you’re willing to take a chance, it could very well be the perfect jumpstart to your Halloween!
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7
RhoSantoroSep 29, 2018
I put 7, but I think that maybe is a 6.5

The story of the movie is good as based on a book, but is good to kids. If you are teenager or adult, this movie have a chance to not impress you, but who knows? I have a aunt who loves any type of
I put 7, but I think that maybe is a 6.5

The story of the movie is good as based on a book, but is good to kids. If you are teenager or adult, this movie have a chance to not impress you, but who knows? I have a aunt who loves any type of magic movie so... I can't say that is a good adaptation of the book of the movie as I never read, so I owe you this. The plot-twist (let's call that) is interesting, but as the movie is not all this, just make you pay more attention to the screen and that's it. I don't know, but the world they showed makes me think that would be great on a cartoon show. Again, who knows, right?

The characters are good, especially Jack Black and Cate Blanchett's characters. This two makes the movie better with their charism and good acting (yeah, I like Jack Black acting skills). The boy, who is protagonist, isn't a very interesting character, but that don't annoy me. The villains are... ok. They aren't scary, evil (they are evil, but not that kind of evil we expect) or interesting in any ways.

As I say in my resume, "The House with a Clock in Its Walls" is a good-to-okay movie. Your children will like, you maybe not so. Jack Black and Cate Blanchett are a good duo and I would like to see them together again. The boy have potential, but the movie not explored. As I say on every review that I make, go to the movies and watch by yourself to make your vision of this film. Don't depend of others words to you say what is good and what isn't. I don't care about someone finds my review useful or not, I'm just writing what I think about it.

My motto continues: Go to the movies, and draw your own conclusion
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7
whoischarlotteOct 23, 2018
Eli Roth made a really enjoyable kids horror movie. Jack Black is amazing, as always.
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9
DufreshestOct 7, 2018
Cinematography: 9.439/10 The trailer does not do The House with a Clock in Its Walls justice. The film flows a lot better in viewing and is not as corny as the trailer makes it seem (at least to me). 

Costume Design: 8.974/10 I like the
Cinematography: 9.439/10 The trailer does not do The House with a Clock in Its Walls justice. The film flows a lot better in viewing and is not as corny as the trailer makes it seem (at least to me). 

Costume Design: 8.974/10 I like the tie-ins with the wardrobes to a theme on being one's self throughout the film. 

Film Editing: 9.543/10 Solid. Each scene is enough. 

Make-up and Hair-styling: 8/10 Decent.

Sound Editing: 8.782/10 I wanted to hear the clock more. 

Visual Effects: 8.732/10 Decent. I wanted to see more magic.

Story: 8.792/10 The story is the first surprise for me. I find myself enjoying The House with a Clock in Its Walls more as the film progresses. It's a fun simple film that gets its points across with just enough. There are some torturous (yes, torturous - I've seen people walk out of theaters or fall asleep torturous -  films in general, but in this case - ) family films: this is not one of them.

Acting: 9.213/10 The acting is the second surprise for me. (I don't actively seek trailers, they show before the film I'm viewing, so sometimes it becomes a bit of a comparative-referential point). Plus, my interest in seeing Mid90s has grown even more watching Sunny Suljic and Owen Vaccarro acting together (that whole motley crew of kids is nice to see in The House with a Clock in Its Walls though).

Personal: I'm glad about the film's turnout. Bullying is really terrible. Playing is fun. It's good to be weird in good ways. The actual process of growing is fun especially with everything in order (cause not too many kids have to pay bills, it's sad about the ones that have to and had to at far too young an age - but, no one is ever too young to begin doing what they are good at - enjoy -  and making money). A kid from a well off family once told me he felt like he was losing his imagination. I told him he has to continue working on his imagination to build it - stimulate it. I do know circumstances may affect individuals in varying ways. I think The House with a Clock in Its Walls does a great job of showing the importance of belief and imagination as well as the processes occurring from experiencing a loss - of grieving and recovering. Good creativity and the imagination are so important to life.

Overall: 8.934/10

-K.D.

If you're into Poetry and other bits of creativity, check out my Instagram: @Dufreshest.
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8
WonderZOct 9, 2018
Great family friendly dose of magic and monsters, funny & fun overall a good watch and very much enjoyable to anyone that doesn't take it to seriously. I'd recommend to watch it with boxxy software.
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