Kid’s movie surprisingly dark

Lilianna Kallas, Feature Editor

Warlocks, witches and spells. “The House with a Clock in its Walls” is a movie worth seeing but should only be for a more mature audience.

“The House with a Clock in its Walls” is a fantasy/thriller directed by Eli Roth, and the main characters include Johnathan Barnavelt (Jack Black) who is a warlock living in the house, Mrs. Zimmerman (Cate Blanchett) who is a witch, next-door neighbor and best friend of Johnathan, and there is Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who is Johnathan’s young orphaned nephew.

At first discovering that Roth was directing this PG film was shocking because most of his movies like “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever” are rated R. This reflected on the movie because even though it was rated PG, it was quite dark for a kid’s movie.

The first thing that strikes the audience is all the pentagrams and “blood magic.” Yes, it is a movie sort of based around witchcraft and magic, but there was a lot of satanic symbols that young kids probably don’t know about. The demon in the movie was also a frightening sight as was Isaac Izzards (Kyle MacLachlan,) back from the dead. The blood magic idea wasn’t bad, but all the cutting made it a bit strange that it was featured in a movie targeting children.

The story starts out with Lewis, a young boy wearing steampunk goggles getting on a bus. When the bus comes to a stop, the audience is introduced to Johnathan who takes Lewis to the house with him.

Black’s acting was strong. He is an actor who can switch between different genres and adds a comedic element that makes it work. He has done action and plenty of PG kids movies, so playing the role of Johnathan wasn’t a challenge to him, and he definitely took a hold of the character by adding his usual comedic stylings which lightened up a rather dark kid’s movie.

Likewise, Blanchett’s character was exceptionally good. She was poised and soft spoken, yet she had such a strong womanly attitude which made her all the more entertaining. As the film progresses, the audience is made privy to her tortured past that contributed to the climax of the movie.

The setting was darker and vintage, but when the characters perform spells, the color of the magic stood out beautifully because it was so bright and glowing. The background was by no means plain because there was a lot of fun things like clocks and moving furniture. The purple elements on the costumes were a nod to people who practice or are familiar with witchcraft since the color purple is royal, elegant, mysterious and powerful.

The length and pacing of the movie was good and there was nothing that dragged on. Nothing felt too short, and the ending built evenly to a strong climax with plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience interested.

Over all, the movie was not terrible but for this movie to be labeled a kid’s movie is inaccurate. There was too much revolving around witchcraft that a kid really shouldn’t be exposed to yet.