Eli Roth is not exactly known for his filmography of children’s movies. The filmmaker has previously made such brutal horror films as Cabin Fever, Hostel, and Hostel: Part 2. All three of the aforementioned movies contained graphic violence, nudity, and were considered to be indicative of a horror genre that was growing more and more horrifying.
Recently, Eli Roth took on the unlikely role of directing a children’s horror movie called The House With A Clock In Its Walls, starring Jack Black, Kyle MacLachlin, Cate Blanchett, and Colleen Camp.
Produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, The House With A Clock In Its Walls is set to be released September 21 of this year and Spielberg had some specific requests regarding the project.
In an interview with SlashFilm, Eli Roth explained how Stephen Spielberg wanted to make the upcoming movie genuinely scary, while still retaining its status as a PG film for children.
Roth also told audiences to expect some toned-down callbacks to his more brutal horror movies of the past.
They really wanted to relaunch what Amblin was in the ’80s, Steven [Spielberg] couldn’t have been more supportive of me… Steven said to me, ‘Make it scary.’ He said, ‘Kids want to be scared. You gotta make it scary…When you see the movie, you’ll see stuff from my other movies — just done in the PG version of it, in a very subversive way.”
Eli Roth previously stepped out from the shadow of the horror genre, directing the 2018 remake of Death Wish, which starred Bruce Willis. In directing The House With A Clock In Its Walls, Eli Roth appears to be both stepping back into his comfort zone of horror, and adding the new challenge of keeping things kid-friendly.
The upcoming movie is an adaptation, based on a children’s book of the same name, which was originally written by John Bellairs. It will be distributed by Universal pictures to theaters across the country just in time for the Halloween season. The film will reportedly be released in an IMAX version to theaters equipped to handle that version of the film, which will also be in 3D.
Also, according to Bloody-Disgusting, the 3D version of The House With A Clock In Its Walls will have an updated 3D version of the classic music video for “Thriller,” originally released by Michael Jackson in 1982. The music video featured numerous horror elements, such as zombies and werewolves, and was directed by horror filmmaker John Landis.