The House with a Clock in its Walls Blu-ray Movie Review

The House with a Clock in its Walls Blu-ray Movie Review

The title of this movie is mysterious and will have you wondering what the movie called The House with a Clock in its Walls is all about. I had previously seen trailers and was intrigued but it was not until Halloween 2023 that my husband and I put this 2018 movie on to watch. 

The story, is based on a children's novel by John Bellairs and Edward Gorey. The movie tells the story of a clever 10-year old boy named Lewis Barnavelt (played by Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his slightly odd uncle, Jonathan Barnavelt (played by Jack Black) and his friend and neighbor Florence Zimmerman, (played by Cate Blanchett). It turns out that his uncle's house is full of mystery and intrigue and danger. It's the first children's spooky movie from Eli Roth, director of a number of adult horror stories. Roth considers this film a "starter horror movie" for families and tweens. Here's the official trailer:  


Common Sense Media gave the movie 3 stars saying, "it isn't a masterpiece, but it's just spooky and funny enough to entertain young moviegoers who are new to the horror genre."

Simon Abrams on Roger called the movie, "basically watchable" was fairly critical and gave the film a 2.5 star rating.  

Finally, The Hollywood Reporter calls the interactions between Black and Blanchett (that Simon Abrams did not like) an "enjoyably unlikely pairing." 


Common Sense Media recommends the movie for children aged 11 and up.  They say, in their Parents Need to Know Section, that "the movie is very creepy, and that there are a few scenes that are downright jump-worthy for kids. There are scary toys and dolls, ominous sounds, a demon, witchcraft, necromancy, and the occult" but they also say "that good ultimately prevails against the forces of evil." Within the story are also a few injuries, a few milder curse words and an exchange of insults. It is not a lightly frightening movie but it does have messages about "teamwork, perseverance, friendship and facing your fears."


The House with a Clock in its Walls is part fantasy, part horror and part comedy. It's a supposed children's movie that might be too scary for your children so beware. Consider Common Sense Media's age recommendation from above, KNOW YOUR CHILDREN and pre-watch the movie if you are unsure

As an adult, I enjoyed way this movie was able to go, as one reviewer said, from "really funny to pretty freakin' scary" and I loved the house and all of its trappings. I think that this movie is just the sort of movie that might become a cult favorite in the way that Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, Under Wraps and The Peanut Butter Solution have. Also a fun movie for adults who don't want a horrific horror film. I loved the baby scene!


With regard to the Blu-ray version, High-Def Digest says, "The enchanting fantasy flick casts its charm on Blu-ray with a mesmerizing picture quality, a reference-quality Dolby Atmos presentation and an enjoyable set of supplements" and gives it 3.5 stars. I will add that there is much to see in this film and Blu-ray shows it well.

Order your copy of The House with A Clock in its Walls here from Amazon. It is available in your choice of format including Prime Video, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K.

See you
at the movies!


A page of Not-Too-Scary Movies for Tweens.

Disney's Under Wraps movie reviewed.

The Peanut Butter Solution movie reviewed.

What's Spinning? The Best of Dr. Hook

Remember songs from Dr. Hook? I do! You'd enjoy this album, The Best of Dr. Hook.Learn a bit more about the band here!

I remember songs from Dr. Hook (and the Medicine Show) from my youth. I would have been a bit young when songs like Sylvia's Mother (1972) and Cover of the Rolling Stone (1972) were released though they are well know to me. However, I definitely remember when Sharing the Night Together (1978) and When You're In Love With a Beautiful Woman (1979) came on at our school dances. 

I don't remember owning any of Dr. Hook's albums despite the fact that many of the songs on 1979 album shown here called The Best of Dr. Hook are so very familiar but I suppose that can be attributed to the group's popularity. They had a highly successful but not particularly long career that included nine albums from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.

I realized this morning when I was playing this record that I don't actually know much about this band nor have I heard anything about them lately, which leaves me with questions like who were they and who are they now? I am no expert. The following information has been gathered from various sites online. I hope you find it interesting as I did.

You can find the album shown here, The Best of Dr. Hook, on eBay by clicking right here. I see it readily available on your choice of vinyl record or cassette tape. I saw other 'Best of' compilations on CD but did not see this one. It is possible that the cover art was changed or that this album was never released on CD. Maybe it will be available for you today. 


In 1968, Dr. Hook began playing together as Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. In 1975, they came more simply known as Dr. Hook. 

The band had a lot of member changes over the years but was originally founded by George Cummings, Ray Sawyer, Billy Francis, Dennis Locorriere and Popeye Phillips and was named with reference to the eye patch that Sawyer wore that obviously references the worlds of Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

Their hits included songs by well-known children's author, Shel Silverstein and self-written songs as well.

Their music has been labelled in many genres that include country rock, ballad, soft rock and easy listening and in total they released 12 albums. They had a highly successful but not particularly long career that included nine albums.


Defining best is awkward but this short list includes some of their well known songs:

Sylvia's Mother 
Cover of the Rolling Stone
Only Sixteen
A Little Bit More
Sharing the Night Together
When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman


In 1985, the group played together for the last time on a farewell tour. Ray Sawyer and Billy Francis have since passed away. Dennis Locorriere holds the rights to the name Dr. Hook and uses it sometimes when touring.


Literally. Dr. Hook's song Cover of the Rolling Stone led them to being caricatured on the cover of the magazine!
  • The song Cover of the Rolling Stone became a top 10 single on the American Billboard Hot 100 and resulted in the band being featured in cartoon form on the actual magazine in March, 1973. Original copies of that magazine now sell on eBay for well in excess of $100. See for yourself the original copies of Rolling Stone magazine with Dr. Hook on the cover by clicking right here. If you are in the market, be wary. There has been a reprint of that cover.
  • Bruce Springsteen opened for Dr. Hook in 1973. 
I hope you have enjoyed this look back into one of the very popular bands of the 1970s!

See you
at the record store!


Check out all of the more than 3,800 Dr. Hook recordings and items listed on eBay.

There is a lot of good information about Dr. Hook on


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