Entertainment Earth

The House with a Clock in its Walls Review – Indomitable or Insufferable

Here’s my review for the film The House with a Clock in its Walls starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett. Directed by Eli Roth.

Eli Roth is back in his element with a horror movie that’s OK at best and dry at it’s worst.

Ok let’s dive right in with this review.

Jack Black plays Jonathan Barnavelt, a warlock who reconnects with his nephew Lewis Barnavet (Owen Vaccaro). From here, they bond through magic together with Black’s next door neighbor Florence Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett). The clock is actually the sinister “character” here in the movie.

Jack Black in The House with a Clock in its Wall

Comedian Black goes between funny and absurb with a snap of a finger. I’m used to this but it feels like some scenes he was phoning in his performance. Even the quips and snaps are absent in this performance.

Cate Blanchett plays Mrs. Zimmerman, a brilliant witch with a tragic past, in “The House With A Clock in Its Walls,” the spine-tingling, magical adventure of a boy who goes to live with his eccentric uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. Based on the first volume in the beloved children’s series of books, the film is directed by master frightener Eli Roth.

Cate Blanchett on the otherhand is just so damn mesmerizing even as a mature witch. As Mrs. Zimmerman, she plays a maternal role to Lewis, and a good friend to Jack Black; nothing kissy kissy, just purely platonic.

I’m surprised how well Eli Roth did with The House with a Clock in its Walls. Its not gruesome as opposed to his other body of works like Hostel. Its a good dose of horror and family friendly content. I’d say it will be a tad higher than Black’s other work too, Goosebumps. They were also right on the money when they said that it follows the tradition of other Amblin movies.

I love the musical scoring in some parts as well as the creepy set design especially those puppets. Those creature designs are good too. There were a few semi-jumpscares which I definitely loved.

Plot wise, its light. It could have been more but we just have to work with what we have. Oh and dialogue is also forgettable. Even when they were trying to be really meta about certain topics, it feels campy.

The CG for the creatures here are top-notch. Even the prosthetics for several characters were nice. That demon they showed also creeped me out, so I guess that should be a plus.

The House with a Clock in its Walls Review – Verdict


Surprisingly I found the film interesting. It’s a great way to showcase how good a director Eli Roth is being able to go from bloody flicks like Hostel to something like this. Forgettable dialogue, interesting plot with a potential for sequels. Semi-OK morality lessons and good VFX.

The House with a Clock in its Walls is now showing from United International Pictures Philippines

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