The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The House with a Clock in Its Walls Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 11+

Eli Roth's aged-down spookfest has jump-worthy scenes.

PG 2018 104 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 251 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 113 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 10+

Not as scary as reviews seem

I was hesitant to show this to my 8 and 10 year old based on the reviews here, but we tried it out, and I’m glad we did! The movie is suspenseful and there were times that my 8 year old hid his eyes because it seemed like something scary would happen, but the scares weren’t that bad. My 10 year old loved it. It was an enjoyable movie for our family!

This title has:

Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 11+

Not too scary, but kids, teens, and adults alike will enjoy it!

This was very good cinematic entertainment. I saw this with my dad recently, and we both liked it. I was very surprised when I found out that the movie was directed by Eli Roth. Who knew that he would get around to directing a kid-friendly horror/thriller flick after making films such as “Cabin Fever”, the first two “Hostel” films and “The Green Inferno”? It is about a kid named Lewis whose parents are killed in a car accident. Therefore, he goes to live with his uncle Jonathan, who is a warlock, and he also gets to know Ms. Zimmermann, who is a witch and a frequent visitor at Jonathan’s house, and the three of them usually play cards together. But there’s a mysterious clock in the walls of the house, and it is so loud, that Jonathan keeps a lot of other clocks hanging in his house on the outside part of the walls to drown out the sound of the inside clock. I read the book and then saw the movie, and I really like how the movie was depicted. Some parts of the movie were true to the book and others weren’t but it was still a great adaptation. At first, I thought that the clock in the walls looked just like some of the other clocks in Jonathan’s house, but it was actually much larger with enormous gears to control it. What I did not like about it was that it did not show the full inside-walls clock itself…just some of the giant cogs. All we find out about that particular clock is that it was under the boiler. I also thought that there was a great amount of bravery and perseverance in the boy, named Lewis, for making right what he did wrong (bringing the dead back to life after reading books of how to perform magic like Jonathan and Ms. Zimmermann), not to mention that dead people brought back to life by Lewis were the people who used to live in the house that had the clock in its walls. The scariest scene is when the dead people confront and haunt Lewis by running around him and cracking their heads. In this way, Lewis being brave and persevering makes him a positive role model, as well as fixing his mistakes, which are the positive messages. It did not scare me, but I know that it can be incredibly frightening to some kids, since it does have its share of violent, creepy scenes. I do not recommend this film to anyone under 9 or 10. All this said, this is a great and spooky film about a kid who tries to adapt to a new school environment and make friends, and fixes the mistakes he made along the way. I think kids 9, 10 and older could see this film and be fine. It’s too good to be missed.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

Movie Details

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