Before I get into this movie review, let me give a quick shout out to all of those that have sent mojo my families way -- you well wishes, thoughts and prayers are most appreciated (and it is working!).
Ahem, okay, now on to another movie review. The whole family decided to shake of the winter time blues by heading out to the theater this past weekend to see the Spiderwick Chronicles. While both kids have been eagerly awaiting the movie release, Thing One (who has read the entire series of books) was about ready to burst at the seams. I relied on his knowledge of the books to know if the content of the film would be something his sister would be able to handle and he assured me she would (I also did a bit of my own research).
For those who are unfamiliar, the movie is based on the Spiderwick book series by Holly Black and Tony Diterlizzi. The movie encompasses all five books in the series; and (according to my son) it stays true to its roots. The story is about twin brothers, Jared and Simon, and their older sister Mallory who move into their great-great uncle's (Arthur Spiderwick) eerie old house after the separation of their parents. While snooping through the attic, Jared finds his uncle's field guide which shares information about an unseen world around them -- a world filled with faeries, goblins and other mystical creatures. This book is sought by the ogre, Mulgrath, who is quite a scary looking dude. So here is the breakdown:
Violence: Let me start by saying that I love the fact that Mallory is a strong, smart teenager who happens to study fencing. As a result, there is a good deal of sword swinging (at the goblins, of course). SPOILER ALERT -- stop now if you don't want a give!
Okay, for those of you who are still here, there is one moment when Jared stabs what appears to be his father which could be a little disconcerting to younger kids. It is quickly revealed, however that it was actually Mulgrath taking the form of his father.
Strong Language: My kids were aghast when they heard young Jared say "What the hell." Of course, they hear cussing on a regular basis in our home (I'll blame it on my husband), but hearing it come from a young kid in a movie caught them off guard. I could have done without that and all the "Oh my God's." Don't kids use the word "gosh" any more?
Sexual Innuendo: None!
Creepy Factor: I didn't think the movie was too creepy. You could see most of what was coming which allowed my daughter time to cover her eyes in time for those things she didn't want to see.
Scary Images: By far the scariest image in the film is Mulgrath. He is scary enough looking in ogre form, but some kids might be freaked out a bit when he shape shifts into a snake and chases Jared.
Final Tally: Okay, Thing One, Thing Two and my husband all gave it an A. I gave it a marginal B. While they all thought it was great, I personally just didn't find myself really caring about any of the characters. Perhaps it is unfair that I compare most films in this genre to the Harry Potter series which a hard act to follow. The characters in the Potter series just seem too have more depth. Perhaps I just wasn't sold on Freddie Highmore playing twins. Nonetheless, if your kids enjoyed the Harry Potter series, they will likely enjoy the Spiderwick Chronicles.
Did you see the film? What were your thoughts? Post your reviews!