‘The House with a Clock in its Walls’ was a hugely successful creepy children’s novel by author John Bellairs who died in 1991. So quite why director Eli Roth, a name more associated with horror would be making a film of the book is a mystery. But on closer inspection its not quite such a leap of faith because Bellairs books were gothic supernatural thrillers which held a huge appeal for kids wanting to be a little bit scared.
For Eli Roth he’s had to rein it in after his back got increasingly more gruesome and stomach churning as his career progressed. His debut Cabin Fever was decent enough but then the gore was hugely ramped up for Hostel and by the time The Green Inferno was released it was vomit bags at the ready with hyper realistic gore scenes that had audiences reaching for the sick bags and rushing to the exits. The film did little at the box office not helped by trouble with the distributors and the film having a limited to almost non existent cinema release seemingly limited to playing the festival circuit and made little money.
Since then he’s toned it down considerably with the Keanu Reeves thriller ‘Knock Knock’ followed by the forthcoming remake of Death Wish. The House with a Clock in its Walls moves away from the full on stomach churning gore for creepy thrills and stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett (Thor Ragnarok) and Kyle MacLachlan none of whom are known for giblets, guts and gore films.
The film follows a ten-year-old boy (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart. But his new town’s sleepy facade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.
This looks like it could have a wide appeal for both kids and adults alike and Roth seems to wound down his excess out of necessity for the film to get a non 18 certificate.
It’s released 21st September 2018 in the us and in the UK a week later.
Here’s the trailer…….