The man behind that scene in Hostel in which a tortured woman’s dangling eyeball is snipped off in an explosion of blood and pus is releasing a film that your kids can go and see. The movie in question is The House with a Clock in Its Walls and, despite that terrible title, it could be a very enjoyable family scarefest.
Trailers for the movie suggest an enjoyable ride, marrying stylish scares with a fantasy romp. Viewers should have their fingers crossed that it’s more akin to the aforementioned Goosebumps than Tim Burton’s desperately poor Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which stunk out cinemas back in 2016 with its family-friendly horror/fantasy hybrid tone. Burton’s movie was at its best when it embraced the darkness in its third act, so Roth’s movie would be wise to follow that lead.
The most interesting element of this isn’t seeing whether Roth can craft a scary film; that’s something he has already proved as a hugely successful genre filmmaker, whether in the now rather troubling torture porn era he helped create with the Hostel series or in his later material like The Green Inferno and Knock Knock. These are divisive movies, but they are certainly films that appear to work for their target audience. The interesting thing about The House with a Clock in Its Walls will be seeing whether Roth’s oeuvre can exist without gallons of fake blood and flayed skin.
Making "House" Could Be Good for Eli Roth
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