Synopsis by Mark Deming
An old man and a young boy teach one another some lessons about magic and friendship in this adventure-comedy for all ages. Max (Matt Weinberg) is a fourth grader who has been having a tough time lately; his parents have died, and he's become the target of bullies at school. One night, not long before Halloween, Max and some friend at school are passing by a big house in the neighborhood that's said to be haunted, and they dare one another to find out who or what is inside. It turns out the spooky mansion is home to The Great Zamboni (Ben Kingsley), a once-famous magician who retired from the stage after he made his wife disappear during his act...and couldn't make her come back again. While Zamboni at first announces he'd rather be left alone, in time he and Max become friends, and with Zamboni's magical skills, Max learns how to stand up for himself, and together they foil a group of criminals. Spooky House also features Mercedes Ruehl; the film won the "Best of the Fest" and Children's Jury Award prizes at the 1999 Chicago International Children's Film Festival.
boy, friendship, magic, magician [performer], missing-person