By: Rachel Murphy
The House with a Clock in its Walls is an enchanting tale of how a little weird can do a lot of good. But it’s also a perfect opportunity to talk with our kids about how we soak up the themes and messages in the things we watch.
Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro), after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black). 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 wants to cause the Apocalypse to erase the horrors of mankind he saw during the war. To do this, he 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’s too late, and before Isaac’s wife, Selena gets to it.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Jack Black’s latest film. In adult comedy, I find him pretty entertaining, but as a children’s actor, I wasn’t sure his talent would translate. But together with his nephew Lewis, the pair weave an enchanting tale of the power of ‘weird’ and how a little weird can do a lot of good.
Lewis is different from his classmates and can’t quite fit in at school. He gets burned by his peer Tarby who pretends to be his friend just to get his vote in the Class President election. But by being honest with himself about who he is and believing in himself he overcomes the evil power of Isaac Izard and realises he doesn’t need these fake friends.
The only this is, this movie was scarier than I expected. It’s rated PG, but it has some serious supernatural themes. After the movie finished I overheard two girls, who looked about 10, say to their mum “..it was a bit scary”.
Yes, the movie is about a magical family, but it couldn’t be compared to the likes of Harry Potter. The evil wizard Isaac Izard messes with ‘blood magic’, murder (not shown, only referred to) and a demon named Azazel. Honestly, I felt a little uneasy watching it … and I’m 21.
I remember as a child my mum wouldn’t let me watch movies like Lord of the Rings or anything magical themed. She warned me to guard my heart and be cautious about what I watch. I can still hear her voice in my head. “Sometimes you don’t always realise that you’re soaking up things from what you watch Rachy..” So now as an adult, I’m hyper-aware of the themes and messages I see and read (thanks mum). So if you’re kids are old enough, this could be the perfect opportunity to start that conversation.
I would say this is a movie for older teens and could be fun for the family, but if you’re sensitive to supernatural themes this may not be the movie for you.
If you like anything a little weird, fables of mystery and magic and some funny one-liners you’ll enjoy The House with A Clock in its Walls.
Article supplied with thanks to 98five.
About the Author: Rachel is a Digital Content Producer from Perth, Australia. She is a self-confessed ‘coffee addict and Netflix binger’ with an appreciation for fine food and aspirations for world travel.