Saturday, 15 March 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles Review

My name is Owen Nicholls. I'm 25 years old. I get scared by films rated PG. P sodding G! That means its intended for children, possibly unsuitable for under 8's so bring an adult. I am a fricking adult what am I supposed to do. I'm guessing my folks were asleep at midnight when I viewed this and I don't think my manager would be too happy if I brought my parents to each and every screening just in case I poop myself. The words large, young female and thin cardigan spring to mind.

Jared Grace (Freddie Highmore#1) moves with his mother, sister and twin brother (Freddie Highmore #2) from New York to the country when his parents split up. Angry at the divorce, he acts out treating all in his family like garbage, smashing things up and playing Marcel Marceau (thats silent not dead). When he finds a book that opens a world full of goblins and fairies he begins to open up. But the evil chief goblin (Nick Nolte) seeks to get the book back and destroy the world. Now Jared has to look out for those around him, beginning to take on the responsibility his fathers absence has given him.

Nearly all the aspects of this film work. Lots of care has gone into the script so that every clunky line is balanced out by one with a little bit of thought. The set design and effects work is second to none and the photography seems way too good for the intended ickel ones to enjoy. Freddie plays both his roles well and considering he's carrying the movie himself that's good work for one so young.

Another fantasy based on a kids book shouldn't really work as well as this does. And while it doesn't have the same place in my heart that Bridge to Terrabithia received last year it will certainly contend for a place in the 'best family films' of the year category once Decemeber rolls on. Oh, and in relation to me being a big scardy pants The Spiderwick Chronicles does represent the first time this year that I've been genuinely a bit shaky in the cinema. Considering I'm over 40 films in, thats not bad, is it?

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