The first trailer has arrived for Eli Roth's family-friendly fantasy horror adventure, The House with a Clock in Its Walls. Based on author John Bellairs' 1973 book - which features illustrations by famed Gothic literary artist Edward Gorey - The House with a Clock in Its Walls tells the tale of one Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro), a recently-orphaned ten year old who goes to live with his uncle, Jonathan (Jack Black). Lewis' Uncle Jonathan, as it turns out, lives in a strange small town in a creaky old house, where a mysterious tick-tock can always be heard coming from the walls. Suffice it to say, there's more than meets the eye to Jonathan's ominous manor.
House with a Clock in Its Walls takes place around the mid-20th century and was adapted for the big screen by Supernatural creator and Timeless co-creator, Eric Kripke. Joining Vaccaro and Black in the cast are Cate Blanchett as Jonathan's neighbor Florence Zimmerman, along with Special Agent Dale Cooper himself, Kyle MacLachlan as Isaac Izard, the original owner of Jonathan's mysterious house. As it turns out, Jonathan and Florence aren't the only grown-ups around Lewis that are keeping a lid on some dark and definitely supernatural secrets, as the first official trailer for the film makes all too clear.
Steven Spielberg's production company Amblin Entertainment and Universal Pictures are releasing House with a Clock in Its Walls and have dropped the movie's trailer online, ahead of its premiere in theaters this weekend with select prints of Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation. Roth's film, by the look of it, harkens back to the darkly wondrous spirit of Spielberg's '80s productions - in particular films like Poltergeist and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - making its larger connection to Amblin and the greater Spielberg brand all the more fitting. For more on that, watch the trailer in the space above.
House with a Clock in Its Walls is an unexpected change of pace for Roth the filmmaker, all things considered. The director/actor behind the Hostel movies, The Green Inferno, and most recently Death Wish (2018) has made his name working on hard R-rated exploitation horror/thrillers - meaning, the whimsical House with a Clock in Its Walls is unusually kid-friendly for him. Roth's more recent offerings haven't earned him a whole lot of love from critics and audiences outside of his core fanbase either, but by the look of it his latest film could have far more crossover appeal by comparison.
Likewise, House with a Clock in Its Walls may yet manage to attract a wider range of demographics than similarly creepy features over the past couple of years. As much success as the horror genre enjoyed in 2017 alone thanks to films like Get Out and IT, most of those movies were aimed squarely at adults and offered little to younger audiences. House with a Clock in Its Walls is certainly aiming to be scary - judging by the trailer - yet it also seems like something that families could feel more comfortable taking their young ones to see, as they did with Jack Black's Goosebumps adaptation three or so years ago.
Source: Universal Pictures
- The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018) release date: Sep 21, 2018