Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles takes place in New England, United States. Mrs. Grace, recently divorced, wants a new start for her family, consisting of herself, her teenage daughter Mallory and her younger twin sons Simon and Jared. They move into the Spiderwick Estate when it is given to them by their elderly great-aunt Lucinda, Arthur Spiderwick's daughter. Jared does not like the move. He has often been naughty, and now tends to be blamed for every unpleasant thing that happens.

Mallory uncovers a dumbwaiter system behind a wall; in it, Jared finds a monogrammed key. He also discovers Arthur Spiderwick's study, and when he uses the key to open a chest, he finds Spiderwick's Field Guide to faeries written by Arthur Spiderwick. Although an attached note warns him not to read it, he does.

They soon begin to notice faeries throughout the estate. However, Mulgarath, a shape-shifting ogre, wants the field guide so he can rule over all faerie-kind (and possibly humans as well) and so attacks the children in an attempt to obtain it. They try to burn the book but it is fire proof and even stays cold.

Later, Jared meets a brownie named Thimbletack, who explains that magical creatures are normally invisible but can reveal themselves at will. He tells Jared about a protective circle that Arthur Spiderwick placed around the house and gives him a stone with a hole which lets him see faeries. Simon, mistaken for Jared, is kidnapped by Mulgarath's goblins, while Jared meets Hogsqueal, a hobgoblin who gives Jared the ability to see all faeries without the aid of the stone. With Mallory's help, the twins escape from the goblins into the house.

While Simon distracts the monsters, Jared and Mallory manage to reach a tunnel they take to visit their great-aunt Lucinda for advice. She tells them that only one person can help: Arthur Spiderwick. However, he was "rescued" by Sylphs, a type of faerie, when goblins attacked, and they will not let him return because they desire his knowledge. Lucinda tells them to find her father and have him destroy the book. Suddenly, Mulgarath's goblins attack them and steal several pages from the book before they are driven off.

Meanwhile, Simon, aided by Thimbletack, has employed his time to fill plastic bags with tomato sauce, which burn goblins like acid. The siblings use the book to summon Arthur Spiderwick's pet, a griffin, which takes them to the realms of the Sylphs. There they meet Arthur Spiderwick, who has not aged but is also unaware of the time he has spent there. Spiderwick initially does not want to leave, but eventually changes his mind, and the three escape on the griffin.

On their return, Hogsqueal warns them that one of the stolen pages will allow Mulgurath to destroy the protective circle when the moon waxes full. The family arms themselves with steel knives and tomato sauce. When they are forced into the kitchen, they place all of their tomato sauce and salt into the oven and hide before detonating it, killing all of the goblins.

Mr. Grace enters the house and tells Jared that he came to apologize; however, Jared discovers that he is an imposter and stabs him in the stomach. He turns out to be Mulgarath in disguise. Jared escapes with the book through the dumbwaiter while Mulgarath transforms into a python and gives pursuit. On the roof, Jared throws the book onto the lawn; as Mulgarath transforms into a raven to catch it, he is snatched and eaten by Hogsqueal.

The Graces bring Lucinda back to the house; and the Sylphs appear, bringing Arthur. However, he cannot remain, because his age would return to him all at once and kill him. Instead, Lucinda asks to be taken with him, and so the Sylphs transform her back into her six-year-old self and spirit the two away.

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