The Spiderwick Chronicles

February 14th, 2008


The Spiderwick Chronicles

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Still of Freddie Highmore in The Spiderwick ChroniclesStill of Freddie Highmore in The Spiderwick ChroniclesFreddie Highmore at event of The Spiderwick ChroniclesStill of Freddie Highmore in The Spiderwick ChroniclesStill of Mark Waters in The Spiderwick ChroniclesThe Spiderwick Chronicles

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.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.7/10 (28,451 voted)

Critic's Score: 62/100

Director: Mark Waters

Stars: Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, David Strathairn

Once upon a time, 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. Unable to explain the strange disappearances and accidents that seem to be happening on a daily basis, the family blames it all on Jared. When he, Simon and Mallory investigate what's really going on, they uncover the fantastic truth of the Spiderwick estate and of the creatures that inhabit it.

Writers: Karey Kirkpatrick, David Berenbaum

Freddie Highmore - Jared Grace / Simon Grace
Mary-Louise Parker - Helen Grace
Nick Nolte - Mulgarath
Sarah Bolger - Mallory Grace
Andrew McCarthy - Richard Grace
Joan Plowright - Aunt Lucinda Spiderwick
David Strathairn - Arthur Spiderwick
Seth Rogen - Hogsqueal (voice)
Martin Short - Thimbletack (voice)
Jordy Benattar - Young Lucinda Spiderwick
Tod Fennell - Helen's Co-Worker
Mariah Inger - Nurse
Jeremy Lavalley - Tow Truck Driver
Lise Durocher-Viens - Mrs. Spiderwick
Tyler Patrick Jones - Additional Performer

Taglines: Experience Their World In IMAX


Official Website: Official site [Brazil] | Official site [Spain] |

Release Date: 14 February 2008

Filming Locations: Montréal, Québec, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $24,740,537 (USA) (17 February 2008) (3847 Screens)

Gross: $71,148,699 (USA) (4 May 2008)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | (unrated version)

Did You Know?

Film prints were shipped to some theaters under the fake title "Widow".

Revealing mistakes: When Mallory and Jared are fighting at the beginning, Jared can be clearly seen to mouth Mallory's words.

Hogsqueal: Do birds live in these little houses?
Jared Grace: Yeah.
Hogsqueal: Oh my gosh, that's genius! Who thought of that? You can stick your tongue right in it!
[begins slobbering over a birdhouse]

User Review

The Spiderwick Chronicles Movie Review by The Massie Twins

Rating: 8/10

Regardless of how faithful The Spiderwick Chronicles movie is to the original stories by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, the film is tremendously entertaining and thankfully resolute. Unlike the recent flock of fantasy epics including The Golden Compass and The Seeker, which conclude feeling wholly unsatisfactory due to an abrupt resolution that suggests further films in the series, The Spiderwick Chronicles easily stands alone as a complete story. With sensationally mirthful creature designs and likable human characters, topped with state-of-the-art special effects, The Spiderwick Chronicles is another big win for Paramount and a high bar for family films of 2008.

The moment the Grace family moves into the dilapidated Spiderwick Estate, strange things begin to happen. Jared (Freddie Highmore) is a curious, adventurous boy who quickly seeks out the hidden cob-web-covered remains of great great uncle Arthur Spiderwick's laboratory. He unleashes a mysterious force when he locates a field guide full of the secrets of the magical creatures that inhabit the forest surrounding the mansion. His twin brother Simon is calm and reserved and very much the intellectual one, but is rapidly drawn into the fantastical world of faeries and goblins. Older sister Mallory and their mom are harder to convince, but after the almighty and ruthless ogre leader Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) begins to attack the home, everyone must band together to combat the hordes of goblins and ensorcelled creatures that lurk outside.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is, on the surface, an alluringly delightful fantasy that blends the very best of character designs, both human and CG, into a story that effortlessly engrosses without stumbling out of the realm of suspended disbelief. Everything within the story makes sense as it unfolds, and we don't question why certain things are feasible – because as the world of goblins and boggers is defined, we have no reason not to become completely immersed in the fantasy. Director Mark Waters doesn't rush the process of illustrating the multitude of magic and myths, and doesn't overload us with jargon that we couldn't possibly comprehend. The pacing is fantastic for a family film, and doesn't fall into the three hour trap that The Lord of the Rings sets.

The children have more appeal and charismatic personalities than those of the Narnia kids, and the creatures are more lovable and waggish than those in Harry Potter. Each computer animated monstrosity and cuddly ally beautifully blend into the forested environment, and never reach a level of utter annoyance. The designs themselves are ingenious, with a mix of gelatinous abominations like Redcap, the angry henchman goblin, a furry old hamster-like man (Thimbletack, voiced by Martin Short) who speaks in rhyme, and a mighty griffin that soars above the picturesque clouds. Eloquently wispy faeries and an enormous horned ogre are also substantial parts of the Spiderwick mythology, and many other exciting creatures frequent this action-filled fairyland.

The Spiderwick Chronicles undeniably makes fantasy and magic fun. While a few scenes of unnecessary predicaments involving the children's divorced parents could have been cut, the film manages not to be overly preachy, even with its many positive messages and abounding morals. With pleasing characters, family-friendly magical adventure and a mind-bogglingly fantastical world of faeries, goblins and ogres, The Spiderwick Chronicles is extraordinarily entertaining fantasy fun.

- The Massie Twins


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