There are a ton of movies out now, but it’s been a while since a just-for-kids kind of flick has hit theaters. The end of September brings two big ones our way though, and one smaller picture that kids will love, even if they haven’t heard of it yet.
The first is one that’s opening this weekend (9/21), The House With a Clock in Its Walls.
This is based on the novel by John Bellairs, about a young boy who moves into an enchanted house with his eccentric uncle. Jack Black portrays the uncle with his usual aplomb and has surprising chemistry with Cate Blanchett, who plays his next-door frenemy. The house they share is as much a character as anyone onscreen, and keeps you guessing with it’s secret passageways and haunted furniture. The House With a Clock in Its Walls is directed by Eli Roth though, who has filled his resume with horror movies. I’m not sure that the man behind gore-fests like Hostel and Cabin Fever has a solid grasp on what a scary movie for kids is supposed to look like. There were moments in this film that freaked ME out, and I love a good horror flick! Even my 11-year-old watched portions of it between her fingers, and she didn’t think Poltergeist was scary! The House With a Clock in Its Walls is rated PG, but it still might be a challenge for younger kids. If yours still wants to see it, I suggest watching the trailer with them, then letting them know that YES, it does get even scarier than that. You should also make them promise that they won’t come crawling into your bed nightly after seeing it! (C+)
Find tickets to see The House With a Clock in Its Walls HERE.
There’s another kid-friendly movie opening this weekend, called Pick of the Litter.
This rated-PG documentary tells the story of five puppies from one litter who train to become guide dogs for the blind. It follows them from birth through the two-year-long process to determine which, if any of them, will make it as a guide dog. You also get to know the people who train them and see how dedicated they are to the puppies. Yes, you will cry on and off throughout the film, but they’re the cleansing, happy kind of tears. I recommend Pick of the Litter to ALL dog-lovers, but kids will especially enjoy watching the puppies learn and eventually be placed with their new owners. Dang it, I just cried again while watching the trailer! (A+)
Find tickets to see Pick of the Litter HERE.
Next week (9/28) brings yet another movie option for your youngsters, Smallfoot.
A solid cast (Channing Tatum, Zendaya, James Corden and LeBron James) delivers the story of a Yeti who finds a human near his village. He tries to tell everyone about his discovery, but is shut down by village elders who claim it simply isn’t possible. This sends our Yeti on an adventure to find the “smallfoot” and prove the impossible is possible. Smallfoot doesn’t offer any groundbreaking dialogue or animation, and it’s original songs don’t feel very inspired. It DOES, however, have a surprising message about the importance of questioning long-held beliefs and seeking the truth. It’s also refreshing to see brand-new characters and onscreen worlds, in a time when kid-cinema tends to lean on sequels. (B-)
Find tickets to see Smallfoot HERE.
I hope that helps you find the perfect film for your family. While you’re here, remember to check the Free Movie Passes page to see what I’m giving away. I should have tickets to Goosebumps 2 soon, and there might even be some passes left to a FREE SCREENING of Smallfoot! I also have free tickets to see A Star is Born, but you’ll definitely want to leave the kids home for that!