Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
Based on the bestselling novel by the same name, the Spiderwick Chronicles is about a single mom who moves her three children to a decrepit old mansion in the country to rebuild their lives after a nasty separation.
When one of the boys, played by a slightly older and angrier Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), stumbles upon a mysterious book of spells written by a previous occupant of the house (David Strathairn), he unwittingly unleashes the fury of a shape-shifting ogre with an eye on world domination (Nick Nolte).
The special effects in the movie are great, as weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve come to expect, and the action sequences are gripping, but this does not hide the fact that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a movie made almost exclusively for ten-year-olds.
If you have one, take him or her to see it. The backyard will be littered with wooden swords and the kitchen bare of tomato sauce, salt and honey for at least the next month.
That said, the producers almost certainly grasped the movieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s limited appeal to a wider audience and in an effort to up box office sales advertised it as the next best thing after Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, which it decidedly isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
They say only a fool learns from his own mistakes, so take this bit of advice: donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t brave this one without a kid in tow. By the time the end credits started to roll, this rather shame-faced reviewer was already about three-quarters of the way to the nearest exit.