Based on the novels by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, The Spiderwick Chronicles is a film adaptation of this series.
The Grace family is going through a divorce, and is moving into a new home for a fresh start. No one is happy about the move, no one more so than Jared who, along with his twin brother Simon, sister Mallory, and mom, has arrived at the vacant home once lived in by Arthur Spiderwick.
Strange things start happening from almost the second they move into the house. Jared finds the study of Arthur Spiderwick and comes across Spiderwick’s field guide to faeries; there is a note attached warning anyone who comes across the guide not to read the book, but Jared does so anyway.
Jared then learns that mystical creatures do exist — and not only that, but the house is surrounded by an invisible barrier that none of the creatures can cross, which is a good thing since there’s an ogre named Mulgarath who wants the field guide for himself so he can rule over all faerie-kind. So now Jared must protect his family in addition to convincing them that the mystical creatures exist and that they are all in danger.
Once Mulgarath gets a page or two from the guide, he learns how to remove the barrier and what happens once the full moon rises is a battle of epic proportions. This is a great fantasy movie that the family will enjoy, but there are a couple of scenes that might be too intense for younger viewers. If they watch this, you might have a little one in your lap or against your chest for some of those scenes.
The cast does a great job bringing these characters to life. Freddie Highmore pulls double duty playing twins Jared and Simon and is believable playing twins whose personalities are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Sarah Bolger plays Mallory, the Grace sibling with a penchant for swords, then we have the CGI creatures voiced by some notable names. Nick Nolte voices the ogre Mulgarath, Seth Rogen voices Hogsqueal, the hobgoblin who is Mulgarath’s enemy. Rounding out the creatures is Martin Short playing Thimbletack, a brownie, which is a peaceful creature, but if you anger it, it turns into a boggart (think a four- to five-inch tall Hulk with the same green skin!).