Okay ~ where are my Jack Black fans? Are you ready to both laugh and jump out of your seat? The comedian is back to entertain audiences on the big screen in another spooky comedy, THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS.
Disclaimer: I was invited to a complimentary media screening of the above named movie in exchange for my authentic and honest review.
Now, I must confess, I never saw GOOSEBUMPS when it came out and now I’m actually kind of regretting it (mental note: w-a-t-c-h GOOSEBUMPS). THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS pleasantly surprised me from beginning to end and the boys and I walked away agreeing that we now have another movie to watch over and over again when this time of year rolls around (yup ~ we’re seasonal like that…don’t judge).
THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS
The 1973 spine-tingling tale by John Bellairs hits the big screen just as the haunting season begins to rev up. The story takes place in 1955 and centers around a young 10-year old boy who, after having lost both parents in a tragic car accident, travels to live with his estranged uncle in a creaky old house in New Zebedee, Michigan. Despite being a little quirky himself, Lewis, (brilliantly portrayed by Owen Vaccaro) just wants to get back to living a normal life once again. However, Lewis gets nothing of the sort as strange and peculiar things begin to happen all around him. Things move, pictures change and there is a mysterious “tick-tock” sound coming from inside the walls of the house.
As Lewis learns about the magical home in which he now lives, he also learns that his well-coiffed uncle (as noted, played by Jack Black) is more than just a “black swan” in the family (you’ll get it when you watch it). He is a practiced warlock and Lewis desires nothing more than to become just like him. In what seems no time at all, he is learning the craft under the tutelage of his uncle and their next door neighbor, Florence Zimmerman (played exquisitely by two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett).
Of course, life never fails to deliver obstacles and challenges to test our authenticity and grit. Lewis finds that he has many to overcome as he learns how to accept who he is, how he is…and even what he has done. In the end, it’s a movie about personal growth, personal acceptance and…well, lots of creepy stuff, too.
What stood out the most
While the movie was full of both hilarious and edge-of-your-seat kind of moments alike, I did find three particular things that stood out to me during the film. What I appreciated about this was that these themes were blatant, interconnected and extremely relevant. The boys saw them, as well, which made for a great conversation on the way home.
Be “You.” Do “You.”
So often, we are trying to become someone we aren’t simply to please those around us. I know, old news, T. Old news. However, if so, then why are we still practicing such tomfoolery? Why is impressing people by being something we’re not so important? At one point or another, the truth is unveiled and then you have a huge mess to clean up, losing more than you would have by simply being yourself.
“You’re the only you in this universe” ~ wise words from Florence as she and Uncle Jonathan teach Lewis to be genuine, authentic, real and raw when learning how to master his magic. It takes heart. It takes strength and courage to be ourselves.
Surround yourself with those who are just as authentic
A strong support system means the world to anyone! To be surrounded by those who get you, encourage you, support you and cheer you on is critical for personal success. Beware the opportunists and self-seeking trolls who pop in for the moment, but are gone as soon as they have what they came to obtain or steal. They will make you question everything you do ~ and not in a positive way.
What’s broken on the inside CAN be fixed ~ no matter how long it takes
I think it’s safe to say that, by adulthood, many of us (if not all) have a piece of our “insides” that has been broken for a period of time. Some “insides” mend easier than others, while some take awhile to heal. It’s also not uncommon to see the healing occur on the outside first, prior to the inside feeling normal again.
Unfortunately, that period of brokenness tends to rob us of our “special abilities” at times ~ our chances at performing our best or utilizing our gifts and talents to their potential. We can’t write, we can’t dance, we can’t think, we can’t appreciate ~ it just draws the will right out of us and replaces it with more of an insecurity.
However, in time, with the right support system, the right mindset and the right purpose, the brokenness on the inside CAN mend and begin to shine as the person you were meant to be. When that occurs, the “magic” comes to life and you watch what you thought was impossible happen.
Would we recommend seeing this film?
So, let’s talk about this for a second. I’m not going to lie. For littles or those who are more sensitive to unexpected spontaneity, THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS may not be a first-choice theater pick. There is a dark side to the movie and there are a decent amount of creepy scenes. Death is discussed, mannequins come alive and disturbing things do happen. However, the comic relief delivered by both Jack Black and Cate Blanchett (an odd combination, but ever so perfect in this movie) makes the movie a fun watch and something we agreed would be fun to see when autumn rolls around each year.
Now – here’s what the boys had to say about it…
“Although distinctly underdeveloped at some points, ‘THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS’ delivered a fun, spooky, family-friendly film with that ever-present Jack Black humor” ~ Aaryn
Spoken like a true critic, right? Aaryn, an avid reader, loves depth and simply wishes they had provided a little more to certain parts of the screen-version. While I agree that I would have liked to know more about certain story-lines, we both agree that it would not have altered our positive opinion of the film.
“I thought the movie was great. The way that they mixed the jump-scares and the comedy was fantastic.” ~ Logan
He is NOT kidding. From where I was sitting, I could hear them both laughing hysterically throughout the course of the movie. Not to mention, they both had moments where they had to have jumped an inch or two out of their seats!
Seriously ~ that made the whole movie worth it for me. LOL!
So ~ Tick-tock, tick-tock! It’s TIME to make plans to visit your local movie theater this weekend. THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS is out September 21st and I personally think it’s going to be a hit. It kept the three of us laughing, jumping and engaged for the entire 105 minutes!
Don’t let time run out before seeing this creepy comedy!!!! In theaters September 21st!
My boys like to compare movies to books. Do you? Here’s a link to the book on Amazon (affiliate link). Let me know if you liked the movie or the book better!
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