The Spiderwick Chronicles, (PG)

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Family recently shattered by divorce inherits creepy old house in the woods, and finds itself at the heart of a battle between the fantastical creatures who lurk, unseen, all around us – hobgoblins, ogres, sylphs and so forth.

Much to commend as a holiday time-filler – respectable CGI creatures, good central performances, a family set-up that is far more plausible than anything in Narnia or Potter. But those earlier fantasies have shot Spiderwick's fox – a climactic flight on a griffin's back, for example, doesn't deliver anything we haven't had before from Harry Potter's various excursions by broomstick and hippogriff – and the narrative feels unhappily rushed.