USA [2008] - 96m
Adventure, Fantasy
Directed by
Mark Waters
More info on
The Spiderwick Chronicles poster


July 30, 2020


A US fantasy film aimed at a younger audience. Not really my thing, even so there were some rather promising elements here. I tend to dislike fantasy that stick too closely to comfort and familiarity, and while The Spiderwick Chronicles isn't a true feast of creativity, at least some extra work had gone into the designs and styling of the fantasy elements.

The monster design was rather interesting, still familiar but not overtly lazy or derivative, which really helped to ground the fantasy atmosphere. The story was rather crude though, with a couple of kids going on a quest where they are meant to save the fantasy realm from a mean-looking ogre.

The problem with these American films is that there is very little room to revel in the fantasy world. Rather that enjoy the beauty and creativity on display, silence needs to be avoided at all cost, either by stupid comic relief, overbearing music, pointless dialogue and whatnot. This would've been so much better if they'd slowed it down a gear or two, now it's squarely aimed at kids who prefer things that appear busy.