‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’: Goblins and ogres and trolls, oh my!

Wed, 02/27/2008 - 10:20am
By: Kevin Thomas

Jared Grace (Freddie Highmore) has had a rough new change in his life. He went from living in New York City to the mysterious Spiderwick Mansion, where the original owner, Arthur Spiderwick, disappeared 80 years ago. His mother and siblings, Mallory and twin brother Simon (also played by Freddie Highmore), are fine with their new home, but Jared wants to go back to live with his dad. At this point, Jared has no clue that his mother and father have separated.

Jared’s boredom turns to interest, however, when he finds a mysterious journal: a field guide written by Arthur Spiderwick describing all the magical creatures around the house. He soon meets one of these creatures, a honey-loving house faerie with anger management problems named Thimbletack (Martin Short). Thimbletack is not happy that Jared found the book. Now the evil goblins will be looking for it to give it to the wicked ogre, Mulgarath (Nick Nolte), who will use it to become all powerful.

Fortunately, Arthur Spiderwick put a magic circle around the house which the goblins cannot enter to look for the book. When Jared opened the book, the circle automatically activated. Unfortunately, Simon goes out of the circle (clueless to the fact that goblins are outside it), and gets captured and taken to Mulgarath. When Jared goes to rescue Simon, he meets another Spiderwick creature: a bird-catching fanatic named Hogsqueal.

Hogsqueal attempts to help Jared rescue his brother but gets distracted by a bird. Even without his help, Jared rescues Simon from Mulgarath and gets him back to the house. The brothers recruit sister Kelly in their mission to defeat Mulgarath, and the quest continues.

This movie was very imaginative and funny. Although some parts were scary, it had some good actors in it. There is one creepy scene where Jared and Kelly are being chased through a tunnel by a troll who looks like Godzilla! This film is not recommended for 5-year-olds. Do not see this film in IMAX! My dad did not fall asleep, which is a very rare occasion in the movie theater.

Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril and some thematic elements.

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