By ETHAN SIBBETT
A movie that embodies the message “don’t be afraid to be different” with its long title.
The movie is centered around the main character, Lewis, who moves to his uncle Jonathan’s house and is befriended by a popular kid named Tarby. Lewis learns that his house is haunted, and further exploration pushes his uncle to explain to him the art of magic, which he has an aptitude for. Unfortunately, Jonathan does not tell him about the evil magician, who once inhabited the house and his lack of success in finding the doomsday clock hidden in the walls.
Tarby turns against Lewis once he is elected school president, and, in a bid to win back his friendship, Lewis brings the evil wizard back to life. With the help of Jonathan and another helpful witch named Mrs. Zimmerman, Lewis is able to defeat him and save the world.
What is especially appealing about the movie is that it embodies the fun part of magic: versatile spells that are essentially just the manipulation of energy, unlike in many books and movies where knowledge of the ancient language, personal energy, or being human can limit access to magic. A good balance of horror and adventure that keeps the awe of being a child and sends a powerful message about being yourself, this movie is 5 out of 5.