Saw Spiderwick Chronicles tonight with friends.
Please to ignore the extremely dysfunctional family. It's all very well acted, and well cast, and the various characters they play are incredibly grating and annoying at first sight, but they do become much more tolerable and much more rounded as the events of the movie continue.
The faeries are profoundly ugly and strikingly beautiful and they capture the alien fascination, our own special world of nature that would send Lovecraft into fits, and while they're comical, grotesque, and strange they are also very much not safe, not even a little.
Two or three plot points turn on the fact that these people are dysfunctional, that the mom doesn't trust or believe the "trouble boy" and that they don't volunteer to share important things with one another, but it quickly resolves.
There is one fewer actor in this movie than I expected. They do almost too good a job at making the brothers seem different, even though they're supposed to be identical twins.
There is one thing that surprised me: the maguffin of the story is that Arthur Spiderwick has gathered so much information on the secrets and weaknesses and strengths and powers of the various faerie breeds that when he writes his book, the collection can be used by one particular ogre to kill anyone who isn't his slave, and to seize their power. One wonders why they didn't already KNOW them? It turns on the idea that they kept their secrets to themselves, but the one trusted outsider who knew them all and who gathered their secrets together into one book was thus the danger to all of them.
I'm not so sure I buy that one, but it's a quibble.
Very good movie. See it.