Hey friends, didja hear? Eli Roth directed a kids movie! Say What??!!! Get this. Stephen Spielberg, with his production company Amblin Entertainment (you know them, they brought us ET, The Goonies, Gremlins, and other classics) decided that he wanted to bring back the idea of the scary kids movie, along the lines of the classics they once produced. So if you’re gonna do horror, who better to go to?
Based on the first in a series of children’s books, The House… is about an orphan in the (I think) 50’s who comes to live with his eccentric uncle Jonathan (Jack Black). Of course, eccentric uncles be eccentric, and Uncle Jack is a warlock and his next door neighbor Florence (Cate Blanchett) has even more magical ability. The house they’re living in once belonged to an evil warlock, who hid a mysterious device somewhere in the walls, which could possibly bring the apocalypse. Or it could just drive Jack Black crazy.
I had so much fun watching this, I really felt like a kid for two hours. This is the kind of movie I would have loved when I was little, if I were allowed to watch it (I know there’s no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that woulda happened). I don’t know that this felt inherently like an Eli Roth film, but it certainly felt like it was made by someone who loves the horror genre (which we know he certainly qualifies). There were some mild kiddie jump scares, and some creepy crawlies around, but there was still a very light and approachable tone throughout. The chills were always quickly replaced with laughs and fun, giving this the makings of a potential Halloween classic.
And who would have ever thought that Jack Black and Cate Blanchett would have the level of chemistry they did on screen, but it was glorious. The banter between the two of them was electric, and made me miss trading barbs with my bestie. Srsly, Cate is far too good to be in a movie like this, and it was so much better for having her. Oh and those of you who are fans of the D, keep an ear out for a quick lil classic Easter egg.
If you need more convincing (I’m almost burying the lead here), you absolutely must see this movie in IMAX. Why? Certain IMAX showings are including a remastered 3D showing of Michael Jackson’s Thriller before the movie (PSA-If you’re used to AMC’s 25 min of previews, this actually comes in at 10 min). That was something absolutely special to experience one of the most iconic long form music videos of all time on the really really big screen, and it set such a great tone going into the film. It looked beautiful.
So I was already pretty giddy coming outta the movie when I posted my Stardust reaction after the film. Now imagine how much giddier I became when I got home that night to find that the man himself, Eli Roth, RETWEETED MY REACTION!!!!! I’m still not over it. I don’t think I’ll ever be <3 The House with a Clock in Its Walls - \m/ \m/ \m/ \n