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Something Wicked This Way Comes (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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Ray Bradbury adapted his own novel for Something Wicked This Way Comes, Jack Clayton's beautiful rendering of the turn-of-the-century fantasy of a mysterious carnival that literally blows into a small town to taunt and tempt the inhabitants. Jonathan Pryce (Brazil), the handsome but demonic proprietor of Dark's Pandemonium Carnival, preys upon the vanities, the delusions, and the regrets of the townspeople by granting their wishes at the expense of their souls. Jason Robards, as the meek librarian Charles Halloway, becomes his unlikely nemesis when his son Will, with his best friend Jim Nightshade (a deliciously dark name in its own right), discovers the secret of Dark's nightmarish carnival. When they become hunted by Dark's minions (including Pam Grier as the beautiful and mysterious Dust Witch), Halloway must confront his own fears and regrets to save the boys. Clayton captures the idyll of childhood in the fall with rich autumnal colors, his camera gliding along with the energetic boys as they tear through field and forests. The climax, however, gets lost in a cacophony of competing special effects, imaginatively visualized but never very terrifying, as if producer Disney resisted the uneasy undercurrent of the story. It's more dark fantasy than horror, a nightmarish adventure filtered through the memory of a man remembering his childhood in mythic terms. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Theatrical Trailer --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Some viewers are surprised to learn that this somber film is a product of the Walt Disney Company. Though there are the lovable small-town characters that one expects from Disney, it is admittedly rare to find a Disney flick with an incorrigibly evil character such as Mr. Dark (obviously the Devil in all but name). It is also unusual for a Disney film to have such a grim atmosphere, at least one that is not regularly punctured with puerile comedic relief, but SOMETHING THIS WAY COMES has a consistently spooky ambiance and an earnestly frightening plot, both of which elevate it to the level of a genuine horror film DESPITE its Disney label.
The performances in SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES are top-notch. Jonathan Pryce is deliciously wicked as the enigmatic Mr. Dark--genre fans might recognize Pryce as the actor playing Governor Swann in the 2003 blockbuster PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL--and Jason Robards does a fine turn as the wise librarian father of young Will.Read more ›
Mr. Dark is well played by Jonathan Pryce, especially as he confronts Charles about his life slipping through his fingers like pages in an old book. Dark tempts Charles with eternal youth, and while Charles understands there is no such thing, Dark's time-limited offer is "ripping" at Charles' conscience. Adults will be frightened by the message as much as children might be by the delivery of this scene, but the story is well worth being scared. If only more people who make movies for children could appreciate that children understand more about life than most Hollywood filmmakers give them credit for. Good fun. I loved being scared by this film as a child, but enjoy the story even more as an adult "past his prime".
The key to this film is that Bradbury captured the tone and flavor of his book perfectly. While nowhere near as complete as the book and the story told therein, it is, nonetheless, complete in and of itself. There's nothing missing for those who haven't read the book. But, if you liked the movie, go find a copy of his book and read it one dark and stormy night.
If you've seen some of the weird science before in other films, most likely it was because Bradbury wrote about it first. He is and was the Stephen King of his generation with such strange tales as The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles (both are actually linked anthologies of his short stories).
If you haven't read the description of the film, it is a story about Middle America early in the first half of the Twentieth Century and two boys sharing their childhood. One comes from a respected, if unexciting family and the other from a less than honorable setting. Yet they live beyond their differences and hold on to their own special fantasies and memories in a Norman Rockwell sort of way. Life was simpler then than it is now, and yet it has its dark side, as the boys soon find out. Mr. Dark's Carnival has come to town in as mysterious way as it did in another time, many decades before, affecting all who became involved.
The film is deliciously handled with a flare that defies description, probably because Bradbury graced it with his retelling through the screenplay.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Disney made a horror movie. This is the best version you can buy.Published 1 month ago by Alain Labrie
I remember this movie from a long time ago but never had a chance to see it. It didn't disappoint, loved the storyline. Arrived quickly and was well packaged.Published 1 month ago by Christine
weird movie - was expecting something a bit different than this . . .Published 3 months ago by robin vicary
This is such an old movie but the way they filmed it back then makes it more spookier. A redone movie wouldn't have the same effect.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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