The Spiderwick Chronicles

April 28, 2008 at 3:19 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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April 20, 2008 by


Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
Wellington
New Zealand

The film apparently combines all five books of the same name by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s.

Three children move to the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, played by Mary-Louise Parker, in the middle of the night. The twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, played by Freddie Highmore, along with their sister Mallory, played by Sarah Bolger, are clearly not keen to be there. The mysterious disappearance of small knick-knacks soon lead to much stranger events – of greater import.

It is very convenient that Mallory is a fencing champion – a fairly ruthless one at that; she is willing to use one of her younger unskilled brothers for practise! Soon she is getting all practise she needs!

It turns out that the house has a secret and dark supernatural forces will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. The children have to defend the house and keep the secret out of the the hands of the dark forces.

The special effects are good and everyone puts in an honest effort. For a children’s film, some quite big issues are covered: the effect divorce has on children; good verses evil; whether the search of knowledge should override commonsense; family loyalty; the use of deadly force.

Overall, the film works, and entertains for its duration; but there were some moments when its flow hiccuped or skipped – perhaps the need to put five books into one movie put a strain on things. I also kept thinking ‘Weeds’ when Mary-Louise Parker appeared – the two roles were too similar. Still, worth the price of admission.

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