Here's what I'd like to say about Eli Roth's The House With a Clock in Its Walls, before we get to the trailer: when Goosebumps came out in 2015, this writer did a whole bunch of eyerolling and shit-talking in regards to that film's chances for being any good: Horror for kids, huh? With Jack Black running around, mugging at each new CGI monstrosity that lumbers onscreen? And it's based on a series of YA novels I'd turned my nose up at as a tween because I'd long since gotten into "real" horror novels by that point? Please.
Then, months after its arrival, I finally saw Goosebumps. I was dragged kicking and screaming into that viewing, and came away feeling very humbled: that movie turned out to be much better than I ever would have predicted. I had a blast with it! Yeah, it's horror pitched at a level that's palatable for families, and yeah, Jack Black (an actor I like, for the record) did more than his fair share of hamming it up for the camera, but Goosebumps also turned out to be interesting and - most importantly - just a helluva lot of fun.
I think about that experience, and the crow I was made to eat, when I think of all the folks I saw being immediately dismissive of Eli Roth's A House With a Clock in Its Walls, back when the first trailer arrived.
Just to head off any confusion here, The House With a Clock in Its Walls is definitely not a Goosebumps rip-off; Roth's film is based on a 1973 novel of the same name (from an excellent series of novels, I might add) by John Bellairs, long pre-dating the Goosebumps movement. But Roth's film does seem to check off many of the same boxes that Rob Letterman's 2015 film did: you've got your monstrous creatures, your mystery to be solved, your Jack Black doing his Jack Black thing, frights mild enough to keep the kids spooked but not so mild as to bore parents. Mostly, though, The House With a Clock in Its Walls looks fun. Remember fun? I don't know about you, but I could definitely use some goddamn fun right now.
Anyway, I'm excited for this one. Here's an official plot synopsis, should you need it:
"Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town's sleepy facade magically springs to life with a secret world of witches and warlocks."
Eli Roth's The House With a Clock in Its Walls arrives on September 21st. You folks gonna show up for it or am I out of my mind? Sound off in the comments below, at your leisure.