How The House With a Clock in Its Walls Sets Up a Sequel

The House With a Clock in Its Walls

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for director Eli Roth’s The House With a Clock in Its Walls, in theaters now.

Director Eli Roth's The House With a Clock in Its Walls marks the beginning of a magical journey for young warlock Lewis Barnavelt (Owen Vaccaro), who in the film must clean up a mess of his own making when he inadvertently resurrects sinister wizard Isaac Izard.

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With the help of his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) and the world's top witch, Florence (Cate Blanchett), Lewis eventually stops the zombie and his doomsday clock. In the process the three of them realize they're meant to defend humanity against darkness, thus setting up a few intriguing directions for a potential sequel.

The Magical Avengers

Jonathan began training Lewis with elementary spells, but he didn't realize the boy's true potential. Florence, however, and kept telling him they needed to step up his magical education. At the end of the film, they finally do, and a sequel can explore Lewis as a more adept warlock.

The final scene also shows them as a family heading off on new, mysterious adventures, so there's an opportunity to have them investigate supernatural cases. Lewis has made it clear he is a defender of the light, and Jonathan finally understands he is meant for greatness. He also recognizes that, with the boy's talent, Florence's wisdom and his own decades of experiences, they can be an unstoppable team of magicians.

Exploring the Barnavelt Legacy

Jonathan was kicked out of the Barnavelt family because his father wanted to end their magical legacy. They're a dynasty of magicians, but Lewis' grandfather had enough of the dangers that brought. A sequel can explore the other magicians of the family, as well as other rival families with powers, which Jonathan hinted existed.

That would allow the franchise to take a more personal approach to Lewis' career, diving into the family's heritage, and even touching on his deceased mother. The second novel in author John Bellairs' children's series, A Figure in the Shadows, centers on Grandpa Barnavelt’s 1859 "lucky coin," a mystical amulet in disguise that begins to haunt and corrupt Lewis. That's the perfect backdrop against which to explore the artifacts and history that have allowed the family to become supernatural experts. Jonathan even teased they may not have all been heroes, which could be an interesting conflict for the boy.

Flo and Rita's Mentorship

Bellairs' novel introduces Rose Rita Pottinger (played in the film by Vanessa Anne Williams), a girl who befriends Lewis and ultimately becomes his crush. In the sequel, she basically became part of the team, and the third novel, The Letter, the Witch and the Ring, used her as the protagonist as she went on a magical adventure with Flo.

However, Rose has a much stronger presence in this film, which teases at the very end Flo's affinity for her. That sets up a sequel for Flo to take Rose on as her own apprentice. Flo stole the show with her acrobatic fighting skills, and how she used her magical umbrella like a shotgun, so training Rose would certainly be exciting. Flo lost her daughter in an accident, and her arc is based on her accepting Lewis as a son, which allowed her to use her full array of powers again.

Directed by Eli Roth, The House with a Clock in Its Walls stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Kyle MacLachlan, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Renée Elise Goldsberry. The film is out in theaters everywhere now.

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