Please note that all framegrabs are from the 1080p version
**½/**** Image A Sound A Extras B+
starring Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Kyle MacLachlan
screenplay by Eric Kripke, based on the novel by John Bellairs
directed by Eli Roth
by Bryant Frazer What happens when Hollywood's foremost torture-porn impresario channels his inner child and goes into business with Amblin Entertainment as a director-for-hire on a kid-friendly adaptation of a young-adult thriller from the early-1970s? Well, you get something like Eli Roth's The House with a Clock in Its Walls--nobody's idea of an innovative masterpiece, but at least an unpretentious, lavishly-designed, and mischievously-executed spookshow. Adapted by "Supernatural" creator Eric Kripke from a novel written by John Bellairs and illustrated by none other than Edward Gorey, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is one of those sad-orphan-is-sent-away-to-live-with-a-distant-relative yarns that begins with a young boy's arrival in an unfamiliar city. Naturally, he becomes privy to magical goings-on that open a window on the wider, more dangerous world before him.