The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
DIRECTED BY: Eli Roth
STARRING: Cate Blanchett, Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Black
RATED: PG/REGION A/2:39/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 2
AVAILABLE FROM Universal Studios

Lewis Barnavelt, after losing his parents, is sent to Michigan to live with his uncle Jonathan. 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 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 finishes its countdown and ends the world.

Eli Roth’s first jump into directing a kid’s movie isn’t a bad movie overall but is totally a movie more directed at and for the younger people out there. That being said, you still get some cool visuals here that are really creepy and deal with some creepy stuff. You also get a very tolerable Jack Black who is at his most bearable since Goosebumps. The story here feels like a number of other popular kids books that were made into movies but seeing as how it kind of comes from the same time all the stuff was really becoming popular that isn’t unusual for it to feel somewhat familiar. I’m not saying everything we see on the screen here works, but I’m saying it at least works good enough and deals with a tough enough subject matter that it can be enjoyed no matter what your age is.

Besides Jack Black, the movie does offer up a solid performance from Cate Blanchett, who might just be the best character in the movie. Kyle MacLachlan is here as well and I’m a big fan of his! The only problem there is I feel that perhaps he wasn’t used as best he could have been here and we don’t see nearly enough of him and when we do he’s a bit hidden behind other gimmicks going on. That being said, if you have kids I’m sure they’ll love this one. If you don’t, I find it entertaining enough and the spectacle of seeing Eli Roth direct something that isn’t hardcore horror was enough to grab my attention. I won’t say that it’s all the way my thing, but I will say I wasn’t bored or anything like that watching it.

Extras

– Warlocks and Witches – Go behind the scenes with the enchanting cast of The House with a Clock in Its Walls
Finding Lewis – A look at the casting of Owen Vaccaro
Jack’s Magical Journey – A look at the unique dynamism and magic that Jack Black brings to the character of Jonathan Barnavelt
The Great Cate – The cast discuss Cate Blanchett’s wonderful performance as Florence Zimmerman
The Terrifying Isaac Izard – Watch Kyle MacLachlan’s creepy evolution from living icon to undead-warlock
– Movie Magic
The Ultimate Haunted House – Join filmmakers for a guided tour through the incredible house at the center of the film
Automatons Attack – A behind-the-scenes look at the mechanical horrors involved in this chilling sequence
Pumpkin Puke – Behind the scenes with the cast and an army of spooky, snarling, vomiting pumpkins
Moving Pieces – Filmmakers and cast discuss the amazing clock room set
Baby Jack – A behind-the-scenes look at the creepy Baby Jack sequence
– Tick Tock: Bringing the Book to Life – Filmmakers discuss how they adapted the book for the big screen
– Eli Roth: Director’s Journals – Director Eli Roth takes viewers behind the scenes
Candler Mansion
Newnan, GA
The Chair
Comrade Ivan
New Zebedee Elementary
Wrap Day
– Owen Goes Behind the Scenes – Armed with his own camera, Owen guides viewers on his own journey behind-the-scenes of the movie
Around the Set
Behind the Camera
The Big Interview
Downtime on Set
– Theme Song Challenge – Eli Roth and the cast are challenged to come up with a theme song for the film
– Do You Know Jack Black? – The cast compete with each other to see who knows Jack Black the best
– Abracadabra! – Eli Roth performs a magic trick for Owen Vaccaro
– Jack Black’s Greatest Fear – Eli Roth and Owen Vaccaro play a prank on Jack Black
– The Mighty Wurlitzer – Composer Nathan Barr discusses how he created the film’s unique and distinct score

Quality of Transfer: 98%