When The House With A Clock in Its Walls opens on September 21, we’ll meet young Lewis Barnavelt, who goes to live with his unusual uncle. But this film isn’t some routine family story. Lewis’s uncle, you see, lives in a very strange house. His neighbor and best friend is a witch, and there are secrets inside the house that connect to a plot to destroy the world.
Eli Roth directed the film, based on the novel by John Bellairs, as a revival of the spirit of Amblin Entertainment known from films like Gremlins and The Goonies. The new movie also has a pretty impressive cast. Let’s meet the residents and neighbors of this spooky house.
Jack Black plays Jonathan Barnavelt, Lewis’s mysterious uncle. Much like the house he occupies, there’s a lot more to Jonathan than we see at first. Despite all the mystery, he is a caring man, and makes it his mission to look out for Lewis. He warns his nephew of the dangers within the mansion, and ultimately builds a bond with the boy. Jonathan also has a close relationship with neighbor Florence Zimmerman.
Black needs no introduction, having starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest and best films over the last couple decades. Films like School of Rock and High Fidelity have shown off his comic chops, while more dramatic roles in films as varied as King Kong and Bernie have demonstrated that Black can master a wide variety of characters. He’s also a seasoned musician, having performed as the frontman of comedic rock band Tenacious D since its inception in 1994.
Blanchett’s character is Florence Zimmerman, Jonathan’s neighbor, and confidante. And, as mentioned, she’s a witch. Just what that means is something we’ll have to see in the movie, but when someone is threatening the end of the world, there aren’t many people we’d rather have on our side.
Blanchett is a powerhouse who can play virtually any character, from the icy woman at the center of Carol to the grim villain of Thor: Ragnarok to Queen Elizabeth I, in Elizabeth, and its sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Owen Vaccaro plays Lewis Barnavelt. He’s at the center of the story, which really begins when he gets to his uncle’s strange house. Vaccaro has appeared in a number of films including Mother’s Day, Daddy’s Home, Daddy’s Home 2 and Fun Mom Dinner.
Kyle MacLachlan plays Isaac the first owner of the house. He was a sorcerer with dark intentions, and his late wife Serena shared his grim outlook. If there’s a plan afoot to end the world, Isaac probably has something to do with it.
MacLachlan’s most famous roles come from his work with director David Lynch, in the films Blue Velvet and Dune, and the television series Twin Peaks, in which he played FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. (In last year’s Twin Peaks: The Return, MacLachlan actually played multiple characters.) The actor is also known for his work on Portlandia, Desperate Housewives, and Sex and the City.
Renée Elise Goldsberry
Theatre actress Renée Elise Goldsberry plays Serena Izard, Isaac’s late wife. Despite being dead she’s a significant force in the story — all we’ll say is that when you’re trying to do magic in a graveyard, maybe do it away from the burial place of a person who had evil intentions in life.
Goldsberry is best known for originating the role of Angelica Schuyler in acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton. For that work, she was awarded the 2016 Tony Award For Best Featured Actress In A Musical. She has also appeared in a number of TV series, including Ally McBeal, The Good Wife, and One Life To Live.
Suljic’s character is Tarby Corrigan, a popular kid at school Lewis hopes to impress. That desire leads to a bad decision, which might or might not have to do with the graveyard shenanigans we mentioned above.
The young actor has a brief but interesting resume. One of his earliest gigs was on an episode of Criminal Minds in 2014. Then he played one of the children in The Killing Of A Scared Deer and stars in Jonah Hill’s upcoming film Mid90s. Suljic also did voice work and motion capture for 2018 video game God of War.
The House With A Clock In Its Walls hits theaters on September 21.