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They’re Making a House With a Clock in Its Walls Movie!

The House With a Clock in Its Walls

The House With a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs may be the scariest thing I read as a kid. First published in 1973, it’s the story of Lewis Barnevelt, an orphan sent to live with his uncle in a creepy old house. Lewis hears ticking in the house’s walls and eventually discovers that his uncle practices magic. The hidden clock was created to destroy the world, which Lewis and his uncle and their neighbor Florence (also a witch) must prevent.

I didn’t remember all this — thanks, Wikipedia! — but the title and that audio image, of a clock somewhere you couldn’t see but couldn’t stop hearing, have stuck with me all these years. (It’s also where I learned what a Hand of Glory was, ick. And that nightmare-inducing cover!) Turns out there were two sequels in the 70s, and then a whole bunch more by someone else after Bellairs’ death.

The House With a Clock in Its Walls

And now there’s going to be a movie! Universal is planning a September 2018 release with Jack Black starring as the uncle. (Currently, it’s planned for the same weekend as Goosebumps 2, which also stars Black.) Also in the movie are Cate Blanchett (as the neighbor?), Kyle MacLachlan (evil wizard who originally owned the house), and Colleen Camp. I don’t normally go see horror movies, but The House With a Clock in Its Walls is such a classic children’s read that I’m curious to see how the adaptation goes.



One comment

  • I don’t think I ever read this one, but I read The Face in the Frost several times. And oddly enough, it was the “Five Dials” chapter that scared the heck out of me as a kid. Must be something about Bellairs and clocks.

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