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The Ending Of The House With A Clock In Its Walls Explained

By the ending of Eli Roth's 2018 gothic fantasy adventure "The House with a Clock in Its Walls," our young hero Lewis (Owen Vacarro) has faced down some fairly harrowing challenges. He has lost his parents and has been taken in by his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black). He soon discovers that his uncle and the mysterious Florence (Cate Blanchett) are a warlock and a witch, respectively, looking for a mysterious clock hidden in the walls of Jonathan's home that could spell doom for the world. It's revealed that the house's previous owners were the vile Warlock Isaac Izzard, a man traumatized by the horrors of World War II, and his equally wicked wife Selena. Isaac plans to use the clock to turn back time and erase humanity from existence. Lewis, Jonathan, and Florence work to find the clock, and when Isaac and Selena attempt to enact their master plan, the heroic trio stands as the only hope left to save the world. 

With the aid of Jonathan and Florence, Lewis defeats the nihilist pair and destroys the clock, but not without cost. Ultimately, the ending of "The House with a Clock in Its Walls" offers lessons about coping with grief and what it means to be a family.

Letting go of the past.

When Lewis discovers the hidden clock, he has to face the massive magical mechanism alone. Florence is stuck battling a giant snake in the basement and Jonathan has been transformed into a baby with his adult head (it's magic, just roll with it). The machine grinds inexorably toward its final sequence, which will spell the end of humanity as we know it, and a desperate Lewis consults his magic eight ball, asking it what to do. The message it delivers is "Say Goodbye." Lewis realizes that this means he has to let go of the pain of the loss of his parents, so he throws the eight ball into the clock's workings, where it gums up and then destroys the clock itself.

In this moment, Lewis succeeds in unlocking his true power by letting go of his pain. This emotional development allows him to blast Isaac and Selena into the machine, ensuring their demise as they are wound backward in time into nothingness.

To embrace a brighter future.

In the film's final scene, Lewis has gained enough mastery over his magic to trounce school bully Tarby (Sunny Suljic) and his cronies with a magically enhanced basketball, and he even befriends a girl named Rose (Vanessa Anne Williams) who appears to have a crush on him. At the end of his school day, Jonathan and Florence pick him up, demonstrating how the three have bonded and formed an unconventional but caring family unit. Lewis even offers Florence a place in the magic act he and his uncle are putting together. The film ends with the trio in a much better place emotionally than at the beginning, ready to face a future together that's decidedly magical.

"The House with a Clock in its Walls" ends with a message about letting go of the pain of the past in favor of the hope of a brighter tomorrow, and it encourages viewers to see how the power to embrace change and enable your own personal growth is its own kind of magic.