“The Spiderwick Chronicles”: A Movie Review

Genres Action, Adventure, Drama
Starring Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, David Strathairn
Directed by Mark Waters
IMDB rating 6,5/10
MPAA rating PG
Release info 14 February 2008
Duration 1h 36min

Okay, so I’m a little behind. I did not know there was a series of books called “The Spiderwick Chronicles” but I do now, thanks to the movie. My husband, our six-year-old daughter, and I just returned this evening from seeing the movie and we all really thoroughly enjoyed it. I have never been big into the whole Harry Potter thing so I was a little concerned that this story would end up like a Harry Potter movie. I can say that I do not believe it was anything like that at all. It did dwell a lot in the supernatural world but it also contained a good message.

“The Spiderwick Chronicles”: A Movie Review

Freddie Highmore does an awesome job in playing twins in this movie named Jared and Simon Grace. They seem to be as different as day and night. While one of the twins tends to be more mischievous the other is anything but and just longs for peace in the family. You may recognize Freddie Highmore from several box office hits including another of our favorites “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Finding Neverland”, and “August Rush”.

In the movie the three Grace children and their mother leave New York and their father behind and move to an older house, that belonged to an aunt, in the middle of nowhere. Everyone but Jared knows something about the children’s father but no one wants to give him the “bad” news. This tends to be a very important part of the movie, as the mother wants the father to deliver the news himself. (Just watch for yourself how wise one little boy can be!)

In a world of goblins, fairies, and other mystical creatures an adventure awaits. The whole family eventually becomes involved in trying to save themselves from the one who wants to destroy everything. Can this family stick together without being torn apart?

“The Spiderwick Chronicles”: A Movie Review

The head of the goblins is Mulgarath and is played by Nick Nolte. Mulgarath is out to get a field guide that was written by the children’s’ great great Uncle Arthur Spiderwick. Arthur Spiderwick wrote a field guide that held secrets to the magical world that humans cannot see. He spent his entire life taking notes and studying these creatures. He knew what would destroy them and he knew what made them tick. It was so powerful that Mulgarath knew that if he had the book, then he could control everything. Arthur was taken away by the fairies to protect him and the secrets. Unfortunately he left his six-year-old daughter behind. The Grace children and Thimbletack (a magical house brownie who is appeased by honey) fight to protect the field guide from being placed into the wrong hands. Can they count on their aunt who is in a sanitarium to help them?

It doesn’t help that no one believes Jared at first. How could they, here is the boy who probably cried wolf a thousand times. Will Jared’s mom believe him or will she become a victim to the unseen creatures?

The “dark” creatures may frighten small children. Several of them do “jump” to give everyone a good scare with several laughs thrown in. Give “The Spiderwick Chronicles” a try if you’re looking for a good Saturday or Sunday matinee. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of one of the mystical creatures. As for me, I guess I need to read the books.

Rajeev Masand
Rajeev Masandhttp://rajeevmasand.com/
Rajeev Masand is an Indian film critic. He works for Noida based English language news channel CNN-Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN-IBN). He usually reviews Bollywood films and major Hollywood films released in India in his weekend show Now Showing. Rajeev Masand was thrice awarded ‘Best Entertainment Critic’ by the National Television (NT) Awards, in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Rajeev is Contributing Editor for GQ India, and writes a monthly column, Talk Movies for the magazine.

Related Articles

“Southland Tales”: A Movie Review

Genres Comedy, Drama, Mystery Starring Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott Directed by Richard...

Comments

Same Category

“Southland Tales”: A Movie Review

Genres Comedy, Drama, Mystery Starring Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William...

“Better Off Dead”: A Movie Review

Genres Comedy, Romance Starring John Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby Directed by Savage...

“Flashdance”: A Movie Review

Genres Drama, Music, Romance Starring Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala Directed by Adrian...