Writer: Karey Kirkpatrick, David Berenbaum, John Sayles (Screenplay) Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black (Book)
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker, Nick Nolte, Sarah Bolger, Andrew McCarthy, Joan Plowright, David Strathairn
Plot: Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
Tagline – Experience Their World In IMAX
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Fantasy Adventure
Story: The Spiderwick Chronicles starts when a family mother Helen (Parker) and children, Mallory (Bolger), twins Jared & Simon (Both played by Highmore) move to a remote Spiderwick estate. Not long after arriving in the home Jared to rebellious of the twins starts investigating the home only to discovery a mysterious book from the former owner.
Once Jared reads the book, he unleashes a goblin army that has been after the book for years and Mulgarath (Nolte) will do anything to get his hands on the book.
Thoughts on The Spiderwick Chronicles
Characters – Jared is the out going of the twins, he is the one that reads the book and must convince the rest to fight back against goblins, his nature means people are less likely to believe him through any of his decisions though. Simon is the quieter and smarter brother that must look for the solution to the problems being caused. Helen is the mother that is dealing with raising the three children after her marriage has fallen apart and she needs to start a new life, one she isn’t prepared for. Mallory is the older sister that must be the warrior for the twins. Mulgarath is the goblin king that wants the book to kill any species in the surrounding area.
Performances – Freddie Highmore takes twin roles here and handles them both very well showing how he can be the smarter kid and the adventurous one too. Mary Louise Parker in the parental role works well as we need her to bring the serious side to the story now. Sarah Bolger is strong too needing to be the strongest member of the children.
Story – The story takes three siblings into a battle with goblins with fantasy creatures being used to guide the way in this battle. This will bring the broken family back together, well back to the level they are going to need to get used too. The scale of the book doesn’t give the story enough credit because it feels like this book has created a massive world only for us to get a snippet into everything. this story doesn’t re-invent the wheel because we can see the formula unfold without needing to guess to much on just how thing go on. We do deal with a big family change which should be the focal point through the film too.
Adventure/Fantasy – The adventure side of the film takes the family into battle against the creatures of the forest which are invisible to most of the world, this plays into the fantasy side too because of the creatures we see at war.
Settings – The film takes the family to a new house that is in the middle of the forest, which shows us the finical change the family must take, as well as the adventures waiting in the forest for people to experience.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are strong for the most part because we get to see the different creation looking like they would fit in the normal world.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun fantasy adventure that brings the characters into a world which will unite them as they deal with the biggest change of the children’s life.
Overall: Simple and enjoyable.