By: Hawk Ripjaw –
The House with a Clock in its Walls
Apparently The House with a Clock in its Walls really, really doesn’t follow the source novel. This is too bad for fans that have read and loved the book for years, and a reminder of what we took for granted in most of the Harry Potter movies. For the rest of us that have not read this book, we can judge this movie at face value. First off, this looks kind of fun. Jack Black is a reliably silly actor and even in bad movie’s he’s often one of the best parts (not Gulliver’s Travels, though). The bigger curiosity here, however, is that it’s directed by Eli Roth. Yes, Cabin Fever, Green Inferno, Hostel Eli Roth. He makes really, really violent, nasty movies that no child would ever be able to watch, and some really terrible ones that literally no one should watch (Death Wish). But this is a PG-rated kids’ movie produced under the Amblin banner with Steven Spielberg. And Eli Roth is directing it. And he had specific guidance from Spielberg to really scare the hell out of kids in a PG-rated fashion. I remember stuff like Something Wicked This Way Comes and other fare from Disney’s dark, fucked up 80s era, and this seems sort of keyed into that tone. I’m pretty sure there is no way this will be that good, but if we can get close I’ll take it.
Now here is some guaranteed, certified, grade-A well-intentioned garbage. I love bad movies, in many of their forms. I enjoy the intentionally shitty SyFy ones in small doses. I really like the gonzo “what the fuck were they thinking” ones like Gods of Egypt. But really, nothing can quite compare to the genuine, sincere bad movies. The ones where the creators are making something truly profound in their eyes. The Winter’s Tale, Collateral Beauty movies that are made to be moving, awards-worthy dramas but so completely screw the landing that they end up being hilarious. I’ve been avoiding as much as this movie’s plot as I can before seeing it, because I hear that the script gets so insanely depressing and melodramatic that it becomes unbelievable. All I know for now is that Oscar Isaac is depressed, Antonio Banderas is lonely, and somebody gets hit by a bus. That’s enough for me to make a trip to the theater.
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited for a bad movie.