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.

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