‘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.
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