For a second, the new creepy children’s movie starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett looked like it might be kicking off a kid’s horror franchise, but as Lewis Barnavelt’s Magic 8-Ball would say “Don’t count on it.” Parents should know that if you’re seeing The House With a Clock in Its Walls this weekend, you can leave shortly after the credits begin to roll. There is a short 30-seconds-or-so little sequence between two characters immediately after the film ends, but it happens so soon after that people will have barely started packing up and gathering their belongings. Is it a post-credits scene? Not really. And you don’t need to stick around to watch all of the names go by unless you want to see the film’s characters depicted as Edward Gorey-esque animated illustrations. Which is, admittedly pretty awesome, Gorey did illustrate the original book the movie was based on!
The House With a Clock in Its Walls is based on the first book out of 12 in the “Lewis Barnavelt” mystery series by John Bellairs, so it’s not strange to believe that Warner Bros might be trying to launch the next Harry Potter or Goosebumps (especially by casting Jack Black). But, because the sequel door isn’t opened all that wide, and there’s no post-credits scene, it’s unclear. Perhaps the studio is just biding its time and waiting to see how the Eli Roth-directed film does at the box office. The House With a Clock wraps its adventure up in a neat little bow, but you get the sense that the door isn’t completely sealed on the idea of a sequel. Toward the end, the film slyly introduces a character that features in the consequent Bellairs books. While, it could just be a little Easter egg for fans of the Lewis Barnavelt series, but it would be a way to go back into that world if the studio wanted to.
So, for now, there isn’t any big post-credits scene or ending to tease a sequel — the next book in this series is called The Figure in the Shadows — but don’t expect a new movie with that title to come out anytime soon. Which is too bad, really, these books are great, and the new film is worth your time, too. A sequel could still happen, of course, it just depends on how everyone likes this movie.
The House With a Clock in Its Walls is out in theaters everywhere on, Friday September 21.