Max Winslow And The House Of Secrets is the latest teen action drama, a modern cautionary tale of AI/Social Networking as the house goes all Jumanji on them. Five teenagers compete to win a mansion owned by entrepreneur and scientist Atticus Virtue. To win the teens must face-off against a super computer named HAVEN who controls the mansion.
Imagine if you will Charlie and the Chocolate Factory if Willy Wonka was Elon Musk and that’s the premise for Max Winslow And The House Of Secrets. The excecution is from the outset is brisk, sharp and reels you in very quickly. Once they enter the house the movie switches gears and the “contest” begins. As you can imagine, things are not as they seem and at times the teen drama takes a darker turn. However by the time all things are said done the film fizzles out into a somewhat preachy version of the Breakfast Club.
The cast however are superb. Sydne Mikelle as Max, leads the line without overplaying the cliché tech geek and is equal levels of innonce and vunerable while being the head strong at the same time. On the basis of this movie big things loom for Sydne. Outside of Chad Michael Murray, probably the most notable actor in the cast is Tanner Buchanan most recently seen tearing up the Netflix ratings in Cobra Kai. Again proving he’s more than that karate kid series guy and looks like he’s really enjoying himself playing the Emilo Estevez role. The whole cast including the voice of Haven, Marina Sirtis are excellent and bring the movie to level that it probably doesn’t deserve but it does and a lot of this can be attributed to Sean Olsen’s direction.
While very enjoyable and the market audience will no doubts enjoy this especially if they are fans of the Hunger Games/Maze Runner/Harry Potter genre type fare. It will make you wonder by the time the credits roll what the overall outcome for the story was meant to be. The house at times effectively tried to do them harm, but it’s all OK because one of them won the really big house because they got to the maguffin first. And when the why is revealed is simply passed off with a shrug of the shoulders and who cares because I won a really, really big house so everyone else can go home now.
Still that’s probably over critical of what for the most part is a very enjoyable thrill ride for half term.
Max Winslow And The House Of Secrets is released in the UK on Friday 23rd October 2020