The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Spiderwick Chronicles, based on a series of children’s fiction, sees two brothers and their sister relocate with mum to their great aunt’s house in the middle of nowhere. For mum this is a chance at a new life, to escape the messy reality of an unfaithful husband, and to tray and get her children back on track. The house has been left un-occupied for some years, as their aunt now resides in a mental institution…
Troubled child Jared soon discovers a secret passageway to a hidden stuffy in the attic, where he finds great-great uncle Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, along with a not warning him not to open it. Being a troubled young boy, he offcourse opens it, and opens his mind to a fantastical world of fairies and goblins, mystical creatures, some good, some decidedly evil.
Unfortunately for Jared and his family, on opening the book, he also re-kindles the war that had been left dormant, and evil strives to gain control of the book and the secrets it contains.
Jared soon realises that he has put his family in grave danger, and that he’s going to have to convince them to help him if they are going to overcome the dark forces.
Spiderwick is the movie I was expecting when I saw Bridge to Terabithia. The creatures in Spiderwick are real, not just imaginary, and take up far more screen time than Terabithia which works well for the film, creating a believable environment for the story to work its magic.
And magic it is, with spellbinding special effects and great acting, Spiderwick manages to bring a subtle story of faith alive, with plenty of thrills and a few scares along the way.
Food for thought:
Jared’s eyes are opened through reading a Field Guide, written many years ago by someone he never met. Yet it’s truth is so over whelming that it immediately opens his eyes to what could be described as a spiritual world, unrecognisable to a largely cynical human race. Could there be a clearer picture of the importance of child like faith?
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: PG – Some Scenes May Scare Young Children.
Duration: 96 mins.
Genre: Adaptation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy.
Director: Mark Waters.
Actors: Sarah Bolger, Freddy Highmore, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker, David Strathairn, Nick Nolte, Martin Short, Joan Plowright.
Release Date: Out now.