Excerpt: This surprisingly charming mix of Harry Potter, “A Christmas Story” and “Hugo” has enough creepiness for the kids while adults can enjoy the Addams Family by way of Tim Burton production design and Blanchett’s amusing eccentricity.
Excerpt: Charming entry-level spookiness and nicely old-fashioned eeriness for budding fright fans. A disarmingly goofy Jack Black and a vamping-it-up Cate Blanchett meet in a comic middle that is perfectly pitched.
Excerpt: Horror director Eli Roth, playing nice here with a family film, channels the early ’80s classics (E.T., The Goonies) to tell a story of another outcast kid coming to terms with a new situation. Themes champion individuality, families come in all shapes and sizes, and a most intriguing idea about coping with tragedy – move forward or go back?
Excerpt: As with most fairy tales, children’s stories have often traded on scary or frightening situations to terrify and enthuse young audiences. “The House with a Clock in Its Walls” is definitely no exception.
Excerpt: Eli Roth got his start making gruesome thrillers like Cabin Fever and Hostel, but in his surprisingly kid-friendly new feature he trades dismemberment for Harry Potter-esque wizardry gone wild.
Excerpt: If seeing Black and Blanchett throw magical fireballs around and trade insults with each other aren’t enough, the production design by Jon Hutman, in addition to the art and set decoration, as well as the costume design, should add that extra something for audiences.