Monday, December 31, 2018

Celebrating the 'Year Of #Pompeii'

This opening paragraph in Forbes recently caught our eye:
New excavations have been ongoing at Pompeii for a few years, largely related to conservation work and other attempts to protect the UNESCO world heritage site from both looters and the environment, but 2018 has produced dozens of visually striking artifacts and skeletons that suggest 2018 was the 'Year of Pompeii.'

The ancient town is best remembered for being destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD - some 19-hundred years ago. Some of the archaeological interests that surfaced this year include:

Friday, September 28, 2018

#HouseWithAClock Film Reviews (XII)

Film reviews: The House with a Clock in it Walls

Litany of Saint Fidgeta (rev.)

Saint Fidgeta
 As you prepare (or wait) for the film, keep Saint Fidgeta on your mind:

  • From the wandering wonder we suffer while waiting in long lines ... sweet Fidgeta, deliver us.
  • From the pandering previews that preoccupy our time ... sweet Fidgeta, deliver us.
  • From the "Let's Go Out to the Lobby"-like earworm playing incessantly in your head ... sweet Fidgeta, deliver us.
  • From the feeling during the film we will see our noses and it will make us cross-eyed ... sweet Fidgeta, deliver us.

Monday, September 24, 2018

#HouseWithAClock Film Reviews (VIII)

Film reviews: The House with a Clock in it Walls

The House with a Clock in its Walls: Film Reaction and Review Videos

There have been countless reaction and review videos for films for years, and now we can add The House with a Clock in its Walls to that list.  Below is our ever-growling list of reaction and review videos from the past few months. We'll update it as we find more.

Drop us a line to have your video added below.

Here's the obligatory #HouseWithAClock hashtag to show we're playing along, too.

'House' Has Potential for a Universal Franchise #HouseWithAClock

Comic Book Resources (CBR) reports that with the weekend success of "The House with a Clock in its Walls" that Universal Pictures may have stumbled onto its own low-key answer to some sort of franchise.  After all, they point out, there are a dozen novels in the series - from both Bellairs and Brad Strickland:

Sunday, September 23, 2018

#HouseWithAClock Film Reviews (VII)

Film reviews: The House with a Clock in it Walls

'House' Wins Box Office with $26.9M

Congratulations are in order for director Eli Roth, writer Eric Kripk, and the entire cast and crew as USA Today reports "The House with a Clock in its Walls" won the weekend box office:
The Gothic family fantasy film exceeded expectations to debut with an estimated $26.9 million in ticket sales at the weekend box office, while audiences showed considerably less interest in Michael Moore's documentary, "Fahrenheit 11/9."  "House" was easily the biggest draw on a quiet weekend at movie theaters, where the other three new wide releases all disappointed or outright flopped.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

#HouseWithAClock Film Reviews (VI)

Film reviews: The House with a Clock in it Walls

Fatherly: ‘House’ Seems Like It Wants a Sequel (#FigureInTheShadows)

Alicia Kort at Fatherly writes that the new adaptation of "House" seems like it wants to setup a potential sequel:
For a second, the new creepy children’s movie starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett looked like it might be kicking off a kid’s horror franchise, but as Lewis Barnavelt’s Magic 8-Ball would say “Don’t count on it.”

So, for now, there isn’t any big post-credits scene or ending to tease a sequel — the next book in this series is called The Figure in the Shadows — but don’t expect a new movie with that title to come out anytime soon. Which is too bad, really, these books are great, and the new film is worth your time, too. A sequel could still happen, of course, it just depends on how everyone likes this movie.

NY Post: Roth Goes from Gore to Gorey

Johnny Oleksinsk writes in the New York Post (Sept. 20) about Eli Roth's Edward Gorey-influenced scenes and characters in his adaptation of The House with a Clock in its Walls:
The director of frightful flicks such as “Hostel” and “Death Wish” has his first family film, “The House With a Clock in Its Walls,” out Friday. The movie is based on the 1973 novel by John Bellairs with drawings by famed illustrator Edward Gorey. Interpreting that late artist’s work for the screen was a childhood dream come true for Roth, a superfan. “Edward Gorey is my favorite,” Roth tells The Post. “I have Gorey art all over my house. I’ve found original prints, original drawings of his. I knew instantly the Gothic style.”

Marshall Celebrates Premiere of #HouseWithAClock

WWMT-TV shares some scenes of the Marshall debut of "House" on Friday night:

Marshall Rolls Out the Red Carpet for #HouseWithAClock

Kalea Hall writes in the Battle Creek Enquirer (Sept. 21) about the festivities taking place at the 146-year-old Cronin Mansion in Marshall:

How 'House' Led To All Things 'Supernatural' #HouseWithAClock

Entertainment Weekly discusses how 10-year-old Eric Kripke discovered The House With a Clock in Its Walls as a child and how it led to other Supernatural things:

Variety: 'House' Ticks at Box Office Friday

Variety reports that "The House With a Clock in Its Walls” is ticking to a U.S. opening of $20 million-plus, early estimates showed on Friday:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

#HouseWithAClock Film Reviews (IV)

Film reviews: The House with a Clock in it Walls

Publishers Weekly Celebrates "House"

Matia Burnett at Publishers Weekly provides some background on John Bellairs and the forthcoming movie:
Before there was “The Boy Who Lived,” there was Lewis Barnavelt, a 10-year-old orphan who brushed shoulders with wizards, witches, sorcerers, ghosts, and his share of occultists. With the film adaptation of John Bellairs’s 1973 novel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, releasing on September 21, a new generation of readers will have the opportunity to discover Bellairs’s storytelling. The film stars Owen Vaccaro (Daddy’s Home), Jack Black (Goosebumps) and Cate Blanchett (Ocean's 8), and is directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever), marking the horror director’s first “family-friendly” film.

In 2011, Bradley J. Fischer and James Vanderbilt of Mythology Entertainment approached screenwriter Eric Kripke (creator of "Supernatural") for the film project. As a child of the 1980s, Kripke was very familiar with Bellairs. Kripke recently told Entertainment Weekly that “when I was 10, I fell in love with this book.” In fact, the only fan letter Kripke ever wrote as a child was to Bellairs.
Thanks, Matia!

Monday, September 17, 2018

#WHouseWithAClock Film Reviews (I)

Film review: The House with a Clock in it Walls

B&N: Opening the Doorway for a Generation of Dark Fantasy Readers

Here's a rare post this week not about the upcoming film adaption of The House with -- you know the rest.  Jeff Somers praises John Bellairs at the Barnes and Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy blog, noting the novels:
...recognize that kids can handle being scared, and don’t need to be coddled. They capture the spirit of youth without condescending to it, and have continued to do so even as the middle grade and young adult markets have matured—for many in a later generation of readers, Bellairs’ books filled the Potter-sized hole in their hearts after that series ended.

Somers goes on to give his take on a Bellairs top ten ... with the book the adaptation is based on leading the way at number one. What books make up your ten favorite John Bellairs books?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Film News: FemaleFirst Fan Finds

FemaleFirst is giving away a merchandise bundle to fans in the UK to celebrate "The House With A Clock In Its Walls".  The bundle includes a mystic ball, an alarm clock, a projection torch, a t-shirt and a Spellbook style notebook. The contest closes Sept. 24.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Film News: Public Invited to Free “House” Magical Escape Experience

Off the news wire for those in California this and next weekend:
Before Amblin Entertainment's spine-tingling, magical adventure opens in theaters, journey inside The House with a Clock in Its Walls as it comes to life before your eyes. Experience magic and puzzles as you explore movie props and special effects before you ultimately escape. The experience is safe for kids, but will include a few light scares from the house itself.
  • The Americana at Brand, Store #837
  • Near the corner of S. Brand Blvd. and Americana Way
  • Glendale, CA, 91210
  • Weekends of Sept. 14 -16, and 21 - 23, 2018
  • Hours: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Film News: Eli Roth, Horologist

Director Eli Roth has a "weird clock obsession" - which made him the ideal candidate to direct the horror film, "The House With A Clock In Its Walls."

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Film News: Eli Roth has 'House' sequel 'ready'

Are fans ready for more Lewis Barnavelt? Eli Roth has a story "ready" for a  The House with a Clock in its Walls sequel, according to Celebretainment:

Friday, September 7, 2018

Film News: Roth, Black and the "Black Satanic Goat"

Celebretainment reports 'House' director Eli Roth let loose a "black satanic goat" to trash Jack Black's trailer during the filing filming of The House with a Clock in Its Walls:

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Film News: 'House' Leads Studio Television Ad Spending

If you've been seeing a lot of Lewis Barnavelt recently there's a reason.  Variety reports  that Universal Pictures claims the top spot in television spending with The House With a Clock in Its Walls:

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#HousewithaclockReadalong Happening This Month

Author and blogger and Richard Denney is celebrating John Bellairs again this month.  Richard and friends are reading - what else? - The House with a Clock in its Walls to celebrate the upcoming film in just a mere 15 days.  That's around 1,296,000 ticks to go! Not that we're counting - or reusing that joke again.  Share your thoughts with Richard and friends...happy reading, all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Monday, September 3, 2018

Film News: Black Tackling ‘Scary Side of Kids’ Cinema’

In an interview with Film News UK, Jack Black discusses his role of Jonathan Barnavelt:
The Tenacious D frontman is prepared for inevitable comparisons to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise due to the film’s notes of “wizardry and witchcraft”. The House with a Clock in Its Walls is also based on a book of the same name, the first in an 11-part (sic) series, however, Jack admitted he was unfamiliar with the 1973 novel by John Bellairs until he won the role.

“I didn’t know the books. But I quickly read this book when I got the part,” he shared. “I was a big fan of (the book’s illustrator) Edward Gorey’s, so it was cool to see a collaboration between him and another writer. And yeah, I really dug it. And I really dug what the screenwriter did in the adaptation (sic).”

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Film News: Jackson’s 'Thriller 3D’ to Play on IMAX Screens with ‘House'

The Associated Press reports that Michael Jackson’s estate and the IMAX company are partnering to digitally remaster Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D for a special theatrical presentation ahead of director Eli Roth’s The House with a Clock in Its Walls.

Film News: The New Shocking Is Doing a PG Movie

At an editing bay on the Universal Studios lot recently, director Eli Roth screened scenes from The House With a Clock in Its Walls for Chris Lea of Vulture and the two chatted about why Roth wanted to do a kids’ film now:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #FigureInTheShadows

"You see, Grampa Barnavelt was really a rather soft-hearted and gentle man. He had no business trying to fight in a war."

Jonathan Barnavelt - The Figure in the Shadows

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #DoomOfTheHauntedOpera

"I’ve always loved to cook, so when the time came for me to enchant a wand, I chose the object that seemed best for me."

Mildred Jaeger - The Doom of the Haunted Opera

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Day Caroline Vandriel met John Bellairs

We sense columnist Caroline Vandriel may not be alone in some of these thoughts:
A few weeks ago, while online, I happened upon a movie trailer for “The House with a Clock in its Walls”. While I was intrigued by the casting (Jack Black and Cate Blanchette), I was thrown by the visual styling of it. The music track, title lettering, and overall tone was reminiscent of the Harry Potter films, and I assumed it was a knock off, which irked me. Knock offs are rarely as good as their original counterparts, and, to my way of thinking, it’s cheating. I decided to check out the book it was based on, fully anticipating being bored and annoyed. I was wrong.

Read more of her "creepy cool" comments in the Aug.7 edition of the Eckville Echo.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #MummyTheWillAndTheCrypt

"In the yeare 1653 when all thinges Sacred were throughout ye nation Either demolisht or profaned Sir Robert Shirley, Barronet, Founded this Church...."

Chapel at Staunton Harold - The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #TowerAtTheEndOfTheWorld

"Time’s run out! Time and punishment! Time and a grin! Time, time, time, in a sort of runic rhyme!"

Isaac Izard - The Tower at the End of the World

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #FaceInTheFrost

"Ye-es, this is proper Snake Year sherry, it is. I’ve got the right barrel. Snake Year, ye say?"

Roger Bacon - The Face in the Frost

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #SecretOfTheUndergroundRoom

"Higgy, has it ever occurred to you that you might be the victim of some lunatic practical joker?"

Roderick Childermass - The Secret of the Underground Room

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #HouseWithAClockInItsWalls

"You just keep yer nose on your side of the fence, okay? An’ that goes f’ya fat uncle, too."

Hammerhandle - The House with a Clock in its Walls

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #RevengeOfTheWizardsGhost

"The four of clubs! That’s the devil’s bedposts! It’s bad luck!"

Johnny Dixon - The Revenge of the Wizard’s Ghost

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Interview: Derek Piotr

If you’re looking for something to complement your reading why not select some of the sounds of Derek Piotr. He's an experimental musician - really a producer and composer - and recently shared his thoughts on being a life-long fan of John Bellairs’s books.

Quoth Bellairsia: #DarkSecretOfWeatherend

"Question: does the sonorous bus go ____-____?"

The Testament of J.K. Borkman - The Dark Secret of Weatherend

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #HouseWithAClockInItsWalls

"It was 350 pages and the plot was a real mess. I sent it around to three or four publishers until it landed with Dial Press. The editor there was herself a children’s book writer, and she liked it but wanted it shorter. So I wrote a whole new book. The whole process started in 1968 and ended in 1973."

John Bellairs - Haverhill Eagle-Tribune (1990) on the creation of The House with a Clock in its Walls.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Marshall to roll out red carpet for 'The House with a Clock in Its Walls'

Nick Buckley of the Battle Creek Enquirer reports on some of the ways that John Bellairs's hometown of Marshall will welcome in the film adaption of The House with a Clock in its Walls:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

An Interview with #PriscillaBellairs

Back in May, Priscilla Bellairs sat down with Dr. Chris for an enlightening interview on the Radio of Horror . If you missed the original broadcast, here's the audio. Happy listening!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #MummyTheWillAndTheCrypt

"Nighty-night Chad baby!"

Byron “Fergie” Ferguson - The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #DolphinCross

"It occurs to me that you are out of this place as much as you are in it. Why did you ever become a monk?"

Abbot of Dunfathersbairn Abbey - The Dolphin Cross

Friday, June 8, 2018

Film: Composer Builds Scoring Stage Just for Classic Wurlitzer Pipe Organ

Variety reports [June 6] how composer Nathan Barr is giving new life to a decades old Wurlitzer pipe organ and how  it's 21st-century debut for movie audiences comes this September in The House With a Clock in its Walls:

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #HandOfTheNecromancer

"Perhaps I shall take a large darning needle and sew your tongue between your lips."

Mattheus Mergal - The Hand of the Necromancer

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #TreasureOfAlpheusWinterborn

"I’ll take it and put it in the library fine box if you want me to."

Anthony Monday - The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Memoriam: Richard Peck

Author Richard Peck has died at the age of 84. 

Don't Look and It Won't Hurt (1972) was his first of 40 novels for young readers.  His writing earned him the 1990 Margaret Edwards Award, the 1990 National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Award for outstanding contributions to young adult literature, and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award.

His 1975 novel, The Ghost Belonged to Me, introduced readers to Blossom Culp who would go on to feature in four of Peck's novels.  Ghost was one of three stories included in Once Upon a Midnight Scary, the 1979 program hosted by Vincent Price that included, in addition to Peck's novel, adaptations of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The House with a Clock in its Walls.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #ChessmenOfDoom

"I have bushels of keys. If you want to know, I also save string."

Anna Louisa Thripp - The Chessmen of Doom

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #BellTheBookAndTheSpellbinder

"D-Dr. Coote! Look at it—it’s still alive!"

Johnny Dixon - The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #BeastUnderTheWizardsBridge

"I think it was a woodchuck."

Jonathan Barnavelt - The Beast under the Wizard’s Bridge

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #SpecterFromTheMagiciansMuseum

"Try dressing up in a floppy clown outfit and doing tricks on live TV."

Clarence Mussenberger - The Specter from the Magician’s Museum

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #SecretOfTheUndergroundRoom

"So do you mean that Father Higgins is dead, and that old coot stole his eyes?"

Byron “Fergie” Ferguson - The Secret of the Underground Room

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Glimpse Inside 'The House with a Clock in its Walls'

A delightful article from the Gloucester Daily Times about Priscilla Bellairs and the upcoming film adaptation of The House with a Clock in its Walls:
In mid-November, Bellairs was invited to visit the film set in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received a warm welcome from the film crew and cast members, including Jack Black, who she recalls was dressed in "hideous makeup," and Blanchet.  There, Bellairs witnessed the filming of three different scenes, which she said took place on "deeply elaborate sets" with an outstanding attention to detail in keeping with the settings of John's imaginative novel.
Plus, for those in or around the Newburyport area:
Coming up on Tuesday, May 15, Priscilla Bellairs will host a program at the Emma Andrews Library in Newburyport, during which she will give an eyewitness account of how an idea in the mind of John Bellairs more than 40 years ago became a children's classic book — and now, a feature film by Universal Pictures.  During the program, she will discuss her unique perspective on the film, which is sure to come with some surprises for Bellairs fans; though many readers speculate the house in "The House with a Clock in its Walls" is based on a Victorian in John's hometown of Marshall, Michigan, and others argue that it is based on a Haverhill mansion, Priscilla Bellairs revealed that it wasn't entirely based on either, but on a composite of the two.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Radio Of Horror Highlights /bɛl ɛrz/

Our friends at the Radio of Horror have highlighted John Bellairs, both in text and video:
John’s books really help me get thru a lot of crap in my child hood and was the first book series I ever latched onto as a kid to really embrace. Stories of teenage kids teaming up with an old mentor to stop a doomsday weapon surrounded by Supernatural forces black magic and more really appealed to me. The cover jackets and front page had some of the best art by the late Edward Gorey I ever saw and loved it.

And our best guess, of the pronunciation, is /bɛl ɛrz si ʌ/.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #GhostInTheMirror

"What kind of mirror do you speak of? An erdspiegel, would it be?"

Grampa Drexel - The Ghost in the Mirror

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #DrumTheDollAndTheZombie

"Th-that thing w-was a zombie, Professor!"

Johnny Dixon - The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Film News: Things Are Quite Different Here #HouseWithAClock

The first trailer for The House with a Clock in its Walls was released today. It's our first chance to see Uncle Jonathan (Jack Black), Lewis (Owen Vaccaro), and Mrs. Zimmermann (Cate Blanchett) in action.  A mere 177 days until the September 21 debut.  The clock is ticking....

Monday, March 26, 2018

Film News: Photos From Inside "House"

USA Today features the first photos of The House with a Clock in Its Walls (in theaters Sept. 21), horror director Eli Roth's new family-friendly magical adventure that stars Jack Black as a small-town warlock and Cate Blanchett as the witch next door. (The debut trailer drops Tuesday morning.)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Quoth Bellairsia: #TreasureOfAlpheusWinterborn

"Three, three, who’ll gimmee three, threena quatta, threena quatta, quattava dollar, quattava dollah...."

Charley Gegenfurtner - The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn