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Non-Review Review: The House With a Clock in Its Walls

There is something quite charmingly old-fashioned about The House With a Clock In Its Walls, which often feels like a nostalgic paean to the kind of children’s films that they simple do not make any longer.

Director Eli Roth might feel like a strange fit for the film, given his filmography to this point is effectively a whistle-stop tour of twenty-first century exploitation cinema; the director made his name with the Hostel films, but has also worked on movies like Cabin Fever, Knock Knock and the recent Death Wish remake. It seems strange that Eli Roth would be tapped to direct a family-friendly adaptation of a forty-five year old novel.

Stars in their eyes.

Then again, there is a long history of niche and exploitation filmmakers serving as unlikely storytellers of child-friendly narratives. Robert Rodriguez is perhaps best known for his work on Desperado or From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, but he is also responsible for the Spy Kids franchise. Older film fans will recognise George Miller for his work on the Mad Max franchise, while younger audience members will forever associate him with Happy Feet. There is a clear precedent here.

More than that, there’s perhaps a logic at play in these sorts of transitions. At its best, and perhaps given the most charitable reading, Roth’s filmography suggests the demented glee of a teenager bringing his feverish imaginings to life. There is a clear sense of nostalgia and yearning in Roth’s work, even beyond straight-up remakes like The Green Inferno. Indeed, that nostalgia seems perfectly suited to The House With a Clock In Its Walls, which is just a shade darker and weirder than a lot of modern children’s films, but in keeping with the tone of the film’s of Roth’s childhood.

Clocking in.

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Watch! Behind the Scenes on the Man With the Iron Fists!

Universal Pictures Ireland just sent over this featurette looking behind the scenes at RZA’s upcoming action film, The Man With The Iron Fists. It certainly looks like an interesting genre mash-up, with Russell Crowe, RZA and Lucy Liu in front of the camera and Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth working with RZA behind the scenes. I’m not quite sure what to make of it at this point, but I am just hoping for a pulpy action film. Anyway, give the featurette a look and let me know what you make of it.

Watch! The Trailer for The Man With The Iron Fists…

Universal Pictures Ireland sent over the trailer for Russell Crowe’s next film, The Man With the Iron Fists, written, directed and starring RZA. It looks interesting, at the very least, and there’s certainly a fascinating cast assembled for the film, including Pam Grier and Lucy Liu. With Eli Roth collaborating with RZA on the script, I’m hoping for a pulpy action film. Let me know what you think.