Eli Roth interview

Eli Roth has never thought of himself as a horror director, so the Hostel and Cabin Fever director’s first PG-rated and kids-friendly movie, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, isn’t that surprising of a choice for the filmmaker. As Roth sees it, his previous movies led him to directing Amblin’s adaptation of John Bellairs‘ novel, published in 1973. This is exactly the sort of lavish and old school spectacle he’s always dreamed about making.

While obviously tamer, The House with a Clock in Its Walls has the director’s dark, sometimes slapstick sense of humor as well as sequences that scream horror. Whether with a rotting corpse, evil pumpkins, or a hideous creature in the woods at night, Roth gives younger viewers enough credit to have fun with the scares. In addition to paying respect to his audience, the director told us about working with producer Steven Spielberg, his love of Amblin and Gremlins, influences and references, and showing the almighty Cate Blanchett firing a laser gun/magical umbrella.

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the house with a clock in its walls review

Eli Roth delivers his first PG-rated film with The House with a Clock in Its Walls, a spooky, amusing horror story for younger viewers. While there’s plenty of gothic atmosphere, and two delightful performances from Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, Roth never quite figures out how to make The House with a Clock in Its Walls tick.

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