46 F
Washington D.C.
Thursday, March 30, 2023 6:27 pm

Christians Denounce Greene’s Call for Christian Nationalism

Thousands of Christians in the US signed...

Ukrainian Kids Attend Bible Camps in Hungary

Ukrainian refugee children have enjoyed Bible camp despite being away from their homeland.

Over 3,000 People Accept Jesus at UK Christian Festival

Festival Manchester, the largest Christian mission in the North West of England, attracted 65,000 people, with more that 3,000 Brits responding to the call of Christ.
HomeEntertainmentMoviesREVIEW: Sorry, but ‘The...

REVIEW: Sorry, but ‘The House with a Clock in Its Walls’ isn’t for kids

Jonathan Barnavelt is a creepy, middle-aged man who lives in a creepy, haunted mansion. Mannequins walk. Chairs move. Paintings dance. And let’s not forget the lion-shaped shrubbery, which sails around the house at will.

He’s also now the father figure to his nephew, Lewis Barnavelt, whose parents died in an automobile accident and who has been given the unfortunate task of living in this spooky place.

That’s OK, though, because this is a “friendly” haunted house. At least that’s what Jonathan says. He’s a “good” warlock who – along with his platonic friendly witch associate Florence – fights off the evil spirits. Everything will be OK!

But Lewis’ classmates at school aren’t so sure.

“You live in the slaughterhouse,” one classmate says.

Supposedly, the student says, an “old guy” died long go in the house and then cursed it. Lewis doesn’t want to believe the story, but he wonders: Is it true?

The House with a Clock in Its Walls (PG) opens this weekend, telling the story of a mansion that – unknowingly to Uncle Jonathan – houses a doomsday clock that could destroy humanity. It was placed there by an evil warlock named Isaac Izard who indeed did die years ago but could return someday to turn it back on – by using the right spell, of course.

Much like Harry Potter, the film follows a boy (Lewis) who learns magic so that he can fight evil – and so that he can play tricks on his friends at school, too.

The movie stars Jack Black (Nacho Libre, Kung Fu Panda) as Uncle Jonathan, Cate Blanchett (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) as Florence, and Owen Vaccaro (Daddy’s Home) as Lewis.

Much like Harry Potter, the film follows a boy (Lewis) who learns magic so that he can fight evil – and so that he can play tricks on his friends at school, too. It is set in 1955 and is based on a book from the 1970s by author John Bellairs.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls is aimed at tweens, teens and families and is part of the so-called “kid-friendly” horror genre. Screenwriter and producer Eric Kripke even hopes it will serve as “sort of the gateway” to adult-oriented thrillers/horror films as children grow up.

But despite the filmmakers’ goals, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is far from being kid-friendly. I say this not as a scrooge – I’ve watched and enjoyed the dark comedy A Series of Unfortunate Events with my 10-year-old son – but as a Christian parent who was surprised by the occult imagery, scary scenes and themes in the movie. The House with a Clock in Its Walls features pentagrams, spells that require blood, a book with necromancy magic (communicating with the deceased), and the raising of the dead. And this is all with the supposed good guys. We also see a flashback scene where a man makes a deal with a demon, and a current-day scene with a bad witch magically transforming from one person to another person by twitching her head back and forth in a possessed-like appearance. Then there’s the zombie. He’d give my kids nightmares.

The worldview is one where the good guys get their magic from within and the bad guys pull their power from Hell.

It contains no sexuality and mild language. Perhaps it’s possible for parents to use the movie as a doorway in discussing biblical themes: the battle of good and evil and the reality of a supernatural world (where an all-powerful God — unlike in the movie — rules). But those conversations likely will be taking place at 1 o’clock in the morning … when the children can’t sleep. You’ve been warned.

This one is rated PG. It deserves a PG-13.

Entertainment rating: 2 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Rated PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor and language.

- A word from our sponsors -


Most Popular

More from Author

Need a replacement for Netflix and Disney Plus? Try Pure Flix

Not so long ago, retailers would advertise products as “new and...

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the...

Matthew West: Silly song ‘Gobble Gobble’ has served as a bridge to the Gospel

Christian musician Matthew West has won multiple Dove Awards, an American...

Frustrated with Hallmark? Try Great American Family

My family was vacationing at a condo a while back when...

- A word from our sponsors -


THE JOURNEY: A Music Special From Andrea Bocelli Extends Theatrical Run Due to Overwhelming Demand

LOS ANGELES (March 28, 2023) — Due to overwhelming audience demand, Fathom Events has extended the original four-day theatrical run for THE JOURNEY: A Music Special from Andrea Bocelli, thanks to significant ticketing pre-sale numbers leading up to the release. The film will now remain in select...

Hope California to Bring Thousands to Jesus

Another spiritual revival is set to take thousands closer to Jesus. Following the success in Asbury University, a major outreach movement is in motion in California. "Hope California" aims to fill 10 stadiums across the Golden State on April 1 and Palm Sunday. Organized by pastors Lou Engle...

Why am I not experiencing joy in my life?

We asked Kathy Martin, a well known counselor with a thriving practice in Palm Beach County, if she would address questions brought to her by readers of One Christian Voice. And she agreed! Here is the first question we posed to her and her solution.  Why am I...

Churches in Malawi Respond with Shelter and Food After Deadly Cyclone

The longest-ever recorded cyclone in history---lasting 36 days, hit southeast Africa in February and killed 522, injured more than 700 people, and left over 345,000 people homeless. Cyclone Freddy traversed Madagascar, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, which was the hardest hit. Malawi's president Lazarus Chakwera declared a 14-day...

Regent Students Choose God During Spring Break

As the majority of college students went on vacation during spring break, students from Regent University experienced the call of the Holy Spirit during an outpouring of spiritual renewal. It seems that God has been pursuing the GenZ after the successful unplanned revival in Asbury University, which many...

France Celebrates Bible Month

The French Bible Society (ABF) celebrates the Month of the Bible in March. For six years, the group organizes this very important month with the French Union of booksellers of religious literature (SLLR) "to raise interest in the Bible and make it known to the general public." This...

New Women’s Audio Bible Launched in the UK

The first-ever audio Bible recorded solely by UK women launched on March 8, coinciding with International Women's Day. Her Audio Bible is UK's first all-female audio version of the NIV Bible and initially includes the four gospels and Revelations. Rev. Katy Partridge, a Church of England curate, spearheaded...

Notre Dame to Re-open in December 2024

Just like a phoenix, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris will rise again from the ashes. French officials announced on March 6 that one of the country's most iconic buildings will welcome visitors and faithful by December 2024, reports France24. Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, the army general in charge...

Pilgrimages Can Help Unchurched Travelers

A travel website predicts that pilgrimages will be one of the biggest travel trends in 2023. In an extensive research, Booking.com found that pilgrimages are becoming popular among tourists with almost half (44%) wanting to go on meditation or mindfulness retreats. Christians in the U.K. hope this information...

Ukraine Christians Are On The Rise Amid War

A recent survey found that the number of Christians in Ukraine increased during the war. It's been a year since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, but in the middle of the destruction, more Ukrainians cling to Jesus Christ as a source of hope and salvation. According to the data...

Asbury Revival Spreads to Other Christian Universities

As Asbury University closes revival services to the general public, the nonstop worship phenomenon has reached other schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. Contrary to surveys that Gen Zers are leaving churches, many young Americans are starting a spiritual revival. Students from Eastern Kentucky University and The...

Asbury Revival Attracts Thousands, Moves Services Off Campus

Massive crowds joined the Asbury University revival which started on February 8, with long lines of people outside the chapel waiting their turn to attend services. The small town of Wilmore, Kentucky suddenly became host to an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people over the weekend. What started as...
define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );