Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) – Film

“Something Wicked This Way Comes”

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31 Days of Horror Challenge: Movie #9

A sinister carnival and the Autumn People, come to Green Town, Il., led by Mr. Dark.   A pair of 12 year old boys stumble across the terrible secret of the carnival. Granting the heart’s desire, but not quite, and feeding on sorrow and tears. Quite the tale of “be careful what you wish for.”

Based on a Ray Bradbury story, this movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid.  Watching it again, I still get shivers.  Disney, who produced this feature, really did dark well.  Still do, but this film was PG, which wouldn’t necessarily be the case today.

Jason Robards, as Charles Halloway, the town librarian; Jonathan Pryce, as Mr. Dark, our suave villain; and the stunning Pam Grier, as the Dust Witch,  give performances which make this fantastic plot plausible.

The sets are beautiful.  Make-up and practical effects hold up well, with a little bit of “special” effects (yeah, they’re dated, but for the time they’re quite good.) keep the creepy, ominous tone steady throughout.  I’d love to see this much non-CG detail in modern films from studio names as big as Disney.

I think I enjoyed it more, as an adult, than I did as a child.  I was certainly more aware of the subtext.  As a kid, I was simply frightened of Mr. Dark, who was hurting the town folk.  As an adult, I saw more of the nuances of Will’s fear of getting old, of his fear for his father, the desire to keep his father, and the rest of his town, safe.

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