In this latest sneak peek, 10-year-old Lewis Barnavelt (Vaccaro) comes to live with his eccentric Uncle Jonathan (Black). After witnessing Uncle Jonathan get his aggressive insult-flirt on with his purple-haired neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman (Blanchett), Lewis notices that there’s something... odd... about his new home. Or as Uncle Jonathan says: “You’ll see it’s quite different here.” (Uncle Jonathan assures him the house is perfectly safe, but that purple-tentacled monster trying to get through the door says otherwise.)
Lewis discovers his uncle is a warlock (aka “a boy witch”) and begs him to give him the right books and teach him the right spells.
But there's a problem. You see, Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman reveal to Lewis that Jonathan’s house used to be owned by another warlock (MacLachlan), whom Mrs. Zimmerman ominously describes as “very wicked, very powerful.” Apparently, he’s left a hidden clock in the walls, and they don’t know what it does, “except something horrible,” Jonathan warns.
So, we get to see the trio fight walking dolls (“So creepy), living jack-o'-lanterns, and other malevolent hard-to-make-out beasties.
Directed by — we kid you not — Eli Roth (of Hostel and Cabin Fever fame), The House with a Clock in Its Walls looks to be a whimsical children’s magical adventure along the lines of Harry Potter, Jumanji, or Hugo. It’s based on John Bellairs' 1973 novel of the same name.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls starts ticking in theaters Sept. 21.