The Spiderwick Chronicles

Theatrical Release: February 14, 2008
DVD Release: June 24, 2008
The Spiderwick Chronicles
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Synopsis

When the three Grace children — troubled Jared; his bookish twin, Simon; and their sister, Mallory, a fencing jock — move to the ancient Spiderwick mansion, they are at first none-too-enchanted by the rundown Victorian … until they discover a Brownie, an enchanted creature, living in the walls. They soon find a book — Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You — that will open their eyes to the invisible, odd, and sometimes dangerous world of dragons and boggarts, phookas and fairies, sprites and goblins that is all around them. When they cross paths with Mulgarath, an ogre, they realize quickly that he will stop at nothing to get his hands on the Field Guide. Based on the bestselling series of books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.

Dove Review

Imagination gone wild! This movie doesn’t have many catch-your-breath moments. It is a roller coaster of a high speed plot which includes twins Jared and Simon Race (both played by an energetic Freddie Highmore) and their sister Mallory (Sarah Bolger) bent on destroying the creatures which would take their lives. The three children move into the ancient Spiderwick mansion along with their mother and Jared discovers a book of secrets. He also discovers creatures which he never would have dreamed up on his own. He learns the family is safe as long as it doesn’t cross over the circle of protection in the front yard. When the monster-like creatures find a way to destroy the protective circle one midnight, the children will need all the resources they can use to destroy the evil creatures once and for all.

This is, without question, a very intense film with some frightening CGI creatures but it is obvious that most of these monsters are just that-CGI creations. There is very little blood in the film and most of it is green blood although there are some violent interactions between the children and creatures. The kids are written as quite believable and one boy who takes his mother for granted realizes it in the end. Though not for young children, the mystery of the book and of Spiderwick (Arthur) himself is interesting to follow and we award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this picture for ages twelve plus. This movie takes you out of the ordinary into an extra-ordinary journey for 99 minutes.

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: Creatures scratch arm and leg of children; a little blood; a girl duels creatures with her sword; a boy is kidnapped by ogres; lots of CGI creatures and some are killed and there is some green blood; creatures are run over by car; a creature turns into a snake but no one is seriously harmed.
Sex: None
Language: G/OMG-13; A couple of "Thank God" comments; H-1; S-1 (the beginning of the word).
Violence: Creatures scratch arm and leg of children; a little blood; a girl duels creatures with her sword; a boy is kidnapped by ogres; lots of CGI creatures and some are killed and there is some green blood; creatures are run over by car; a creature turns into a snake but no one is seriously harmed.
Drugs: None
Nudity: None
Other: The parents in this story are separated; a lot of fantasy-type magic as a result of a book; a child says he hates his mother but later apologizes.

Info

Company: Paramount
Writer: Karey Kirkpatrick and David Berenbaum
Director: Mark Waters
Producer: Mark Canton
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 99 min.
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter