The House with a Clock in its Walls | Teen Ink

The House with a Clock in its Walls

January 22, 2019
By Anonymous

 The House with a Clock in its Walls is a thrilling adventure movie that is packed to the brim with magical moments. It all begins when a young, ten-year old Lewis is asked by his uncle to go live with him after the death of his parents. Because Lewis's mom is Uncle Jonathan's sister, the uncle feels that he has a need to look after his nephew. After receiving some money and a bus ticket in the mail, Lewis packs his things and goes to Michigan, where he meets his uncle for the very first time. Lewis soon learns that Jonathan is a bit of a quirky oddball, but he still thinks that he is a nice guy. After being told by Jonathan that there's no bedtime, no mealtime, and basically no rules, except for not opening up a single cabinet, Lewis realizes that things are going to be different here. When Lewis begins to hear ticking noises coming from the walls inside of the house the house and finds Jonathan running around the house with an axe looking for it, things begin to get too weird for the little boy. He tries to runaway, but, in the process, Uncle Jonathan finally reveals the truth to his nephew. Jonathan tells his nephew that him and his mysterious neighbor, Mrs. Zimmerman, are able to create magic and perform spells. The uncle soon shows off some of his skills that he can do, since he's a powerful warlock, and Lewis soon wants to become a warlock, himself. Because Uncle Jonathan eventually agrees, Lewis starts to become challenged in ways that he would never have previously imagined. Meanwhile, while practicing magic and learning the wonders of the mystical arts, Lewis must also deal with going to a new school. In the process, he feels that he needs to impress one kid in particular, in order to help make him his friend. As a way to try to fit in better, Lewis tries to impress this student by using a forbidden spell to revive the dead. However, when the spell works successfully, Lewis is soon warped into a magical world that is no longer just fun and games, and if Lewis, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmerman aren't careful, everybody across the world will be forced to pay the ultimate price. 
 The House with a Clock in its Walls is overall a pretty decent movie, but it really isn't anything that spectacular. For starters, although the very beginning of the movie brilliantly jump starts the movie and sets the stage for the rest of the movie, towards the end of the beginning portion of the movie, things just get dragged out, causing audiences to get tortured in the process, waiting for something exciting to finally happen. The middle portion of the movie also fails at certain parts, because the slow-paced rhythm of the movie becomes painful at times, especially since the movie was intended to be an action-packed roller coaster. However, the enticing ending of the movie proves to be exhilarating for the most part, and as the adventurousness of the movie increases, the rest of the movie is able to function in a way more entertaining manner. The action is simply superb, and watching people use magic to defeat other magical spells is definitely much more exciting than some of the other parts of the movie. This logic also applies to the horror portions of the movie, since as the movie begins to get creepeier and more frightening, audiences get significantly more interested in the movie and begin to move to the edges of their seats.

 The House with a Clock in its Walls was meant to be one of the few must see movies of the year, and although it doesn't quite live up to that standard, the movie still has its highlights, including Jack Black's spectacular performance that helps to elevate the movie during majority of the movie, since he is essentially able to carry the film on his shoulders. In fact, one of the main faults with the movie is that not all of the main characters give great performances, even though the cast seems to be fairly talented for the most part. However, it seems like that the main protagonist of the movie, Lewis, who is played by Owen Vaccaro, isn't that convincing of a lead. Although it isn't quite clear why, it seems like Owen's character isn't really able to help make the movie substantially more dramatic or compelling. 

 The House with a Clock in its Walls does have a few minor issues, but one of the best parts of the movie is the convincing villain. Because the villain has a rich backstory and a very clear connection to the main characters, as well as an excellent source of motivation for his diabolic schemes, he is able to prove to be both an emotional and physical threat that is able to truly cause chaos and mayhem. 

 The House with a Clock in its Walls also greatly benefits from having some truly vivid visual effects that bring the magic of the movie to life even more, helping to make the movie feel more realistic. These outrageously cool special effects are called on early and often and are able to help aid the film in capturing the fantasy-esque that the movie is able to conjure up so successfully. Another good thing about the movie is the actual setting of the when the movie takes place. Because the movie takes place in the 1950s, the movie is able to seem much more believable than if it took place in 2018, and because of this, it is also able to connect with the horrible events of World War II as a way to make most of the characters' backstories much more meaningful. 

 Even though The House with a Clock in its Walls isn't beloved by everybody that sees it, it seems like a fair amount of critics and viewers seemed to both be fairly satisfied. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a solid 67%, which isn't that impressive but certainly isn't terrible, and IMDb gave the movie a 6.1/10, which is actually a lot better than it sounds. An outstanding 86% of Google users liked the movie, which is a great sign, and the people who didn't like the movie were probably just disappointed that The House with a Clock in its Walls wasn't one of the must see movies of the years, which is actually what a lot of people were hoping for. 

 The House with a Clock in its Walls isn't perfect or the greatest movie of all time, but it is still definitely worth seeing, since it is a peculiar movie that depicts magic in an unique way and is able to combine a bunch of different elements to create a tale that is chilling, suspenseful, and, of course, magical. 


The author's comments:

"So, I can give you the right books, teach you the right spells, but that last one percent, that’s up to you." - Uncle Jonathan


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This article has 1 comment.


on Apr. 2 at 11:52 am
Dani_Higareda PLATINUM, Hanahan, South Carolina
23 articles 0 photos 108 comments

Favorite Quote:
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
- Winnie the Pooh

You did a great job with the review. I really liked this movie. Anything that is magical is exciting and very fun to watch.


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