Totally sequel-bait since there are 11 more books in the series
Villains could be better developed
Not since Harry Potter have I been able to say that I have had much fun watching a film adaptation of a book.
Ranging from mediocre like The Hunger Games Trilogy, to outright “why does this exist” territory like Twilight, adaptations haven’t been having the greatest season since the bar was set with Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings.
Thankfully, this unspoken curse may be lifted with The House with a Clock in Its Walls.
Based on the 1973 novel by John Bellairs, The House with a Clock in Its Walls succeeds as an adaptation while also posing itself as a standalone film with a mission ton entertain moreso than building a deep mythology. While the novel was the first in a series of twelve books, the film adaptation keeps it simple by not overloading itself with references or attempts to lead up to sequels.
While I can’t entirely speak for loyalty to source material, the cast deliver strong portrayals of all the characters. Lead actor, Owen Vaccaro steps into the shoes of literary icon Lewis Barnavelt with ease. Eager and enthusiastic, the boy may be in for a ride towards becoming the next Daniel Radcliffe, if he so chooses to stay in the role throughout the franchise.
More importantly (to me, anyways), is the esteemed Jack Black as the mandatory fantasy figure of Uncle Barnavelt. My Jack Black fanboyness aside, the true show stealer is the unexpectedly on point chemistry with Cate Blanchett.
Portraying the sharp-tongued and immensely powerful Florence Zimmerman, Cate Blanchett’s performance is surprisingly refreshing and satisfying to watch after her ultimately disappointing turn as Hela in Thor: Ragnarok.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls is out in theatres now and a good bet to entertain you till The Crimes of Grindelwald releases!