THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS (2018) Reviews and overview

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‘This house knows what makes you tick.’

The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a 2018 American supernatural fantasy horror film directed by Eli Roth (Knock KnockGreen Inferno; Hostel; et al) from a screenplay by Eric Kripke (Supernatural TV series; Boogeyman), and produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams, and Sunny Suljic star.

Based on the 1973 children’s horror novel written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, the movie adaptation was released by Universal on September 21, 2018. By October 16, Box Office Mojo reported that it had taken $101,819,740 worldwide against a reported budget of $42 million.

The movie is released digitally on November 27th and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on December 18th.

  • Audio commentary with director Eli Roth and actor Jack Black
  • Alternate opening and ending with optional audio commentary with director Eli Roth and actor Jack Black
  • Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary with director Eli Roth and actor Jack Black
  • Warlocks and Witches
    -Finding Lewis
    -Jack’s Magical Journey
    -The Great Cate
    -The Terrifying Isaac Izard
  • Movie Magic
    -The Ultimate Haunted House
    -Automatons Attack
    -Pumpkin Puke
    -Moving Pieces
    -Baby Jack
  • Tick Tick: Bringing the Book to Life
  • Eli Roth: Director’s Journals
  • Owen Goes Behind the Scenes
  • Theme Song Challenge
  • Do You Know Jack Black?
  • Abracadabra!
  • Jack Black’s Greatest Fear
  • The Mighty Wurlitzer
  • Gag Reel


Ten year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) goes to live with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. However, his new town’s sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead…


” …an amusingly spooky Halloween-time family film that not only faithfully adapts a compelling and well-written story, not only boasts three magnificent performances and a menacing milieu, but perhaps most impressive of all, shows us a versatile side of Eli Roth fans of his should encourage to see more of. Clock it!” Jake Dee, Arrow in the Head

“All this one has to do is entertain, to avoid pandering to children or insulting the intelligence of adults, and hopefully work as a gateway horror movie for the young kids who see it and walk away having been scared just enough that they want to be scared again. At these things, the film succeeds.” Patrick Bromley, Bloody Disgusting

“Despite some bits of bad acting and awkward humor, The House With a Clock in Its Walls hits more than it misses. Black and Blanchett unexpectedly play off each other wonderfully and, with the addition of Vaccaro as a sympathetic lead, makes quite a charming ensemble. Overall, The House With a Clock in Its Walls is fun and frequently creepy.” Charlie Cargile, PopHorror

“Unfortunately, Black doesn’t often seem to be interested in vibing with his co-stars. That may not seem like a fatal shortcoming, but it matters a great deal whenever Vaccaro struggles to find the right pitch for angsty outbursts, or Blanchett strains to sell mediocre (but not entirely unworkable) one-liners.” Simon Abrams,

” …a derivative, if harmless, family-friendly horror movie. At the very least, young audiences may find it entertaining and respond to the whiff of a message about embracing your inner weirdo. But don’t kids deserve more than a hodgepodge of recycled ideas?  I’ve never enjoyed any of Roth’s grisly R-rated movies, but at least those had a distinct vision and style.” E. Oliver Whitney, ScreenCrush

Cast and characters:

  • Owen Vaccaro … Lewis Barnavelt
  • Jack Black … Jonathan Barnavelt
  • Cate Blanchett … Mrs. Zimmerman, a witch
  • Kyle MacLachlan … Isaac Izard
  • Colleen Camp … Mrs. Hanchett
  • Renée Elise Goldsberry
  • Vanessa Anne Williams
  • Sunny Suljic

All images are © Universal

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