Eli Roth Goes Kid-Friendly With ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’

The first trailer has released, and it gives off a very Goosebumps meets Harry Potter feel. They tried to throw in slight bits of humor amongst the very family friendly horror, but all seems very repetitive to what we have seen in the past. Of course, since it comes from an older book, it is new in its own stance but maybe they just made the film a little late.

Those of us with children and a love for horror can at least get our young ones into the obsession early with this clean adaption of the gothic novel, as the trailer is quite entertaining for the younger age. When it comes to how the movie will be, that is to be determined as true horror fans need to take a step back and realize this is meant for the kids who do not have the same level as experience judging scary movies. It does seem very fun and like a good day out at the theaters for a family, but I would assume that the older crowd will not be jumping for joy to run and see this film – unless they have an attachment to the novel itself.
ScreenGeek
Mar. 27, 2018

‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ Trailer: Eli Roth Brings a Creepy Children’s Book to Life

I didn’t bring up a Harry Potter comparison earlier, but there’s definitely a case to be made for a little boy traversing the clearly magical terrain of his weird uncle’s house. It’s a reverse Dursley situation, where the child is normal and his eccentric relative is the one who can manipulate fireballs. From the promising footage, The House with a Clock in Its Wall could be a great, creepier addition to the ongoing obsession with a wizarding universe, sitting nicely beside the Fantastic Beasts franchise as a more contained alternative that still features magic.

The verdict is still out on whether Black is an appropriate actor for the part of Lewis’s uncle Jonathan Barnavelt. Between Goosebumps and the Jumanji sequel, Black continues to reinforce his usual over-the-top acting style that The House with a Clock in Its Walls isn’t likely to subvert. So maybe some of those funnier close-ups are meant to make people laugh in their lack of subtlety. For her part, Blanchett looks enchanting, playing the part of the equally enigmatic Florence Zimmermann — Jonathan’s neighbor — with incredible, commanding poise. Vaccaro spends most of the trailer gazing around in wonderment but easily passes the baseline test of up-and-coming child actors: adorableness. Here’s to hoping that he’ll be able to hold his own against two acting veterans.
 Film School Rejects
Mar. 28, 2018

Preview Your Children’s Future Nightmares in the First Trailer for The House With a Clock in Its Walls

In the first chapter of John Bellairs’ strange and wonderful young-adult novel The House With a Clock in Its Walls, the protagonist, a ten-year-old boy named Lewis, stays up late reading the ninth volume of John L. Stoddard’s lectures, a late-19th century travelogue that he finds in his eccentric uncle’s library.

That passage captures bookish children’s fascination with horrible things, as well as their ability to set them aside—the peppermint patty is a great touch—but it also tells you something important about Bellairs’ project. 

Whether Bellairs didn’t have a copy of Stoddard at hand and misremembered the passage or deliberately altered it, the result is the same: he made his source material bloodier and ghastlier, confident children would come along for the ride. And they did, in droves.

Which brings us to the first trailer for Universal Pictures’ adaptation of the book, directed by Hostel’s Eli Roth. The previous adaptation, narrated by Vincent Price for his TV special Once Upon a Midnight Scary, set the bar very, very low, so it’s no surprise Roth looks to have filmed the definitive version of Bellairs’ novel. Giving this movie to a horror director was a great idea, the set design looks top notch, Jack Black and Cate Blanchett are in fine form, and it looks like Roth has nailed the puzzle-box aspect of the novel without making it look too video-gamey. And even in the trailer, it’s clear that there’s plenty of nightmare-fuel for kids, from dead-eyed dolls to the hand of glory.

 But the scene in which Jack Black says, “You’re perfectly safe,” right before purple tentacles erupt from a door behind him and Lewis asks, “That’s safe?” in disbelief? That’s exactly the kind of broad, kid’s movie comedy The House With a Clock in Its Walls doesn’t need. Kids know when they’re being condescended to, and with a PG-13 rating, not many children young enough to appreciate that joke are going to see it anyway. We’ll find out in September what Roth learned from Bellairs, but let’s hope that line is an anomaly. Give the kids their purple-velvet plums spurting plum juice. Some of them are going to love it.
Slate
Mar. 27, 2018

‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’ Trailer: “You’ll See, Things Are Quite Different Here”

Eli Roth collaborating with Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Entertainment is something that you’d think would never happen in a million years. One dives into the world of horrors beyond anyone’s imagination and the other explores the world of imagination. But with the right material, the two could be paired nicely. That’s what we are getting with Roth’s adaptation of The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Honestly, this looks like a lot of fun. It’s got just the right amount of mystery, intrigue, fun, and spine-tingling creepiness. The “ticking” whispers that can be heard throughout the trailer just gave me the chills. And we get to see Cate Blanchett in yet another family friendly film, and this time she isn’t a vindictive evil stepmother, but an interesting next door neighbor who also happens to be a witch.
Geeks of Doom
Mar. 27, 2018

Trailer: ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls,’ Starring Jack Black

The director Eli Roth made his name with adults-only horror films like “Hostel,” but he’s setting out to scare a younger audience with “The House With a Clock in its Walls,” which has just released its first trailer.

As if the unseen ticking timepiece weren’t creepy enough, the home also features such haunted-house standbys as suits of armor, jack-o’-lanterns and a tentacled monster that pops out of a closet. “That’s safe?” Lewis asks. His uncle reassures him, “As long as it’s fed.”

Mr. Roth, whose recent reboot of “Death Wish” misfired at the box office, seems to have drawn visual inspiration from both Edward Gorey (who illustrated the 1973 book) and Steven Spielberg. The trailer opens with throwback logos for Universal Pictures and Mr. Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, homages to the filmmaker’s early classics like “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”
New York Times
Mar. 27, 2018
 

First Trailer For Edward Gorey's 'House with a Clock in Its Walls' Adaptation Arrives

The success of 2015's Goosebumps helped confirm there's a massive market for kid-oriented horror films, which the upcoming The House with a Clock in Its Walls hopes to tap into. The film, which is based on an Edward Gorey-illustrated story written by John Bellairs, just got its first trailer, which you can watch above.

House with a Clock in Its Walls is the first installment of a 12-book series written by Bellairs. When the author passed away in 1993, the series of books was continued by Brad Strickland. Many installments in the series featured illustrations by Edward Gorey.

This won't be the first adaptation of the book, as it was the inspiration for segments on the 1979 anthology series Once Upon A Midnight Scary, which was hosted by Vincent Price.
ComicBook.com
Mar. 27, 2018

(Ed. note: we've never heard it referred to as "an Edward Gorey-illustrated story written by John Bellairs" before.  And Bellairs died in 1991.)

Cate Blanchett welcomes you to The House with a Clock in Its Walls in first trailer

Eli Roth of Death Wish and Knock Knock weaves a Gothic tale about 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) going to live with his uncle in a creepy, creaky old house. While there seems to be a lot going on in the preview footage between moving portraits, hostile dummies, and Blanchett’s magical umbrella, the story comes down to a world of witches and warlocks Lewis discovers when he inadvertently wakes the dead.

Black now goes from grappling with all manner of ghouls and goblins in Goosebumps to hurling fireballs at evil spirits. Blanchett, too, seems to be keeping some semblance of her chic Cinderella wardrobe, but getting in on the action with a bewitched umbrella or two.

The original book, the start of a series, featured spine-tingling artwork from Edward Gorey. Amblin Pictures, which is releasing the film through Universal Pictures, promises Roth & Co. won’t water down the scares.
Entertainment Weekly
Mar. 27, 2018

Eli Roth takes a hard right into family-friendly fantasy in The House With A Clock In Its Walls trailer

Eli Roth is the last person you’d expect to be directing a family-friendly fantasy adventure whose official description calls it “in the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places,” yet, here we are.

Having watched the trailer, it does seem to be a true departure for Roth: There’s nary a disembowling or extra-gooey head shot to be found, just lots of Harry Potter-esque magical ambience. We’ll see if the director snuck in any of his signature gore when The House with A Clock in Its Walls hits theaters on September 21.
AVClub
Mar. 27, 2018