The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Critics Consensus

An entertaining PG detour for gore maestro Eli Roth, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a family-friendly blend of humor and horror with an infectious sense of fun.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 198

45%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,111

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

45%
Average Rating: 3.1/5

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Movie Info

In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Award (R) winner Cate Blanchett star in THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS, from Amblin Entertainment. The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town's sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.

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Critic Reviews for The House with a Clock in Its Walls

All Critics (198) | Top Critics (28)

Audience Reviews for The House with a Clock in Its Walls

½

There was a couple of instances over the course of The House with a Clock in Its Walls, particularly early on, that had my hopes up, but by the end? God I was so disappointed. The lead is not a great actor (often a trouble when you have to cast young), and the effects are pretty bad. The worst thing though is that Clock in Its Walls can't keep its story straight, which is a pretty unforgivable sin when it's your own story. Like, you set the rules here, why are you going out of your way to break them for nothing?

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

½

A fairly good "scary" tale for children with a "being oddball can be a good thing" message, fronted by top-tier talent (yes, I'm beginning to forgive Jack Black for being annoying!) that actually share nice chemistry together. A professional production that might require time to be appreciated as it should.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Kids will be traumatized and have nightmares for the rest of their lives after watching this horror movie for children, while older viewers are likely to find this an amusing (if harmless) dark fable that benefits from a nice production design and some good performances.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Who could have guessed that splatterhouse horror director Eli Roth (Hostel, The Green Inferno) was the right candidate to helm a children's movie that hearkens back to the 90s era of Disney Channel? The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a whimsical and enjoyable family movie that is definitely made primarily for those under the age of twelve. It features a young boy (Owen Vaccaro) going to live with his uncle (Jack Black) who is a warlock and where the neighbor (Cate Blanchett) is a witch. He learns magic, self-confidence, and the legend of the hidden clock that may or may not trigger a doomsday. The 1950s house itself and its magical elements is practically another character in the movie and there's a cheerful sense of discovery throughout, with a dog-like armchair, a topiary griffin, and a stained glass window that keeps changing. The school scenes could have been trimmed entirely, especially when you consider our main kid had enough motivation to try and bring his departed mom back to life. He didn't need to impress a bully at school because he wanted a friend. Black (Jumanji 2) is charming as ever and a natural with children. The visuals are colorful and fun. The signature weird and icky details Roth adds made me smile, like pumpkins that vomit pumpkin guts as a weapon. Kyle Maclachlin (TV's Twin Peaks) plays an evil wizard who wants to end the world after seeing the horrors of the Holocaust. That's a dark implication for a "children's movie," and I appreciate that the film allows for the existence of darkness, which also includes unvarnished appearances of the occult and a red-eyed demon. How about that? The House with a Clock in Its Walls is an entertaining fantasy adventure for families whose kids like to tip-toe into spooky material but aren't quite ready yet for the harder edged PG-13 scares. Nate's Grade: B

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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