Director – Eli Roth
Year – 2018
In 1955, after his parents are killed in a car crash, ten-year-old Lewis Barnavelt moves to live with his Uncle Jonathan in New Zebedee, Michigan. All he has left of his parents is a Magic 8-Ball they had given him, and a family photograph. Upon entering his new home, he meets Jonathan’s neighbor and best friend, Florence Zimmerman.
During the night, Lewis is puzzled when he hears a ticking sound in the walls. Lewis begins exploring the house and stumbles upon Jonathan smashing a wall with an ax. Frightened, he runs away and encounters multiple household objects coming to life. Jonathan confesses that he is a warlock and Florence is a witch. The house’s previous owners were a sinister warlock named Isaac Izard, (an orphaned former friend of Jonathan’s who was traumatized while fighting in WWII), and his equally wicked wife Selena. Isaac and Selena had apparently hidden a clock within the walls of the house before they died, and Jonathan has been trying to find the clock and discover its purpose. Despite Jonathan’s cautions, Lewis begins teaching himself magic.
On his first day at his new school, Lewis meets Tarby Corrigan, who befriends him during Tarby’s campaign for class president. When Tarby wins the election, he abandons Lewis.
Lewis’s mother visits him in dreams. When he laments that Tarby does not see him as a friend, she suggests that he use a spell from a forbidden book to impress Tarby. On Halloween night, Lewis performs a necromancy spell in a cemetery, accidentally summoning the ghost of Isaac who reinhabits his dead body.
Lewis spots Isaac in the window of a house of a neighbour, Mrs. Hanchett. He “rescues” her from Isaac and brings her across the street to Jonathan’s house, but before he can find Jonathan, Isaac confronts them at the front door. He reveals that Mrs. Hanchett is really Selena, who killed Mrs. Hanchett, took her place, and used her bones to make the clock’s key. It was also Selena who took the form of Lewis’s mother to persuade him to summon Isaac. Isaac explains that his hidden clock’s blueprints came from the demon Azazel, who had given them to Isaac as he sought relief from the visions of horror he had witnessed during the war. The clock will turn back time so that humanity never existed and undo the horrors that he had witnessed. Jonathan, Florence and Lewis are chased from the house.
Using the Magic 8-Ball to learn the location of the clock underneath the boiler room, the three return. Florence defeats a snake guarding the room while the others pursue Isaac. The clock transforms Jonathan into a baby, except for his face which he’d shielded with cards. Lewis consults the Magic 8-Ball, which says “Say goodbye”. He realizes that he has to let go of the pain of losing his parents to harness his true power. He breaks the clock by dropping the ball, which blocks the clock’s gears. Then Lewis blasts Isaac and Selena with magic he channels from the clock. They fall, de-age, and are ultimately erased from existence.
Lewis returns to school with more confidence and gets revenge on Tarby and his friends by magically bouncing a basketball off their faces and into the basket, impressing his other classmates. He then befriends a girl named Rose Rita Pottinger, who appears to have had a crush on Lewis. At the end of the day, Jonathan and Florence are shown picking up Lewis, the three of them now live like a regular family.