Disclaimer: Ray Bradbury is my favorite author. My memory of this movie when it first came out was that it did a better job of following the book than most movies do -- and that is still true. Special effects have increased way beyond what was used when this was filmed; the current generation of youth may criticize that.
I hope, however, that if the movie is ever remade, that is the only thing they update, and do so with taste so that the movie can remain PG and be the perfect halloween movie for a younger audience.
I'm glad I made this purchase and might make a halloween tradition out of watching it. Re-watching this, I was reminded of the weird sense of premature existential loss I felt seeing it for the first time as a kid. The wells of nostalgia aren't too deep when you're 12, so I'm not sure where that came from. Anyone else get this? The heart of the story is aging. It also contains the imagination of young boys as a strange carnival train arrives during the middle of the night along with all of the typical members and attractions one would find in a late 40s traveling show.
The fortune teller, the strong man, the littlest man, the biggest one, and the master of ceremonies. In this story, all askew, all dark and full of mystical powers. The places, the characters, the underlying evil and menace are woven into descriptions of the wind, the night, the buildings and the seasons.
The story is there and in place. The film makes cliches out of both the characters and the events. The sets are cheap looking, the costumes a bit too obvious, the actors restrained and lacking the depth needed to tell this story, Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes. This is a shame because with actors like Jason Robards, it could have been much better.
It needs to get on the carousel and go backwards to make Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes fresh and young somehow. As a Disney property, that is not likely to happen. It deserves to be. Made today, with the right director, cast and effects this could be an astonishing film.
The original story is eternal. The fear of aging and dying and what if we could change that? Bradbury stories were made into films in the sixties and all the attempts need to be revisited. Sadly, the Disney version of his first real novel stops far short of the short of the station the mysterious carnival train needs to reach. One person found this helpful. This is a great Disney film that doesn't get near enough love. I was disappointed that it wasn't included on Disney Plus, so I picked it up.
It's got a wonderful, dreamy and mythic quality to it. If you like the older, live-action Disney films, you may want to check this one out. It isn't a comedy like many of the live-action Disney films, it's more like horror-lite; that isn't to say that it's scary, because it isn't, it just has ambience, and it isn't a comedy. This is a Disney film that shocked people back in the 80's with how adult it is! There is no gore or excessive blood but it is very scary!
A small town in Illinois is visited by a carnival owned by a rather dark individual. That is the guy's name, Mr. Two boys are excited to go to the carnival and soon find out the carnival's deadly secret. They seek the help of the town's librarian, Halloway, who must now fight the carnival. There is nothing obscene or gory but VERY intense images.
This is not for kids! If you have the Anchor Bay release of this movie, you will want this Disney version. The Anchor Bay version is letterboxed for old, square TVs, which means it is surrounded on all sides by black bars windowboxed when displayed on a more recent widescreen TV. This new Disney release is mastered with a aspect ratio, so it fills your screen. This movie is nicely creepy - no blood, guts, swearing, or chainsaws! My only complaint would be that the case is in really rough shape.
See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. How They Like Tears! One of those films that time has been kind to. Jason Robards is - expectedly - great in the role of the ageing father of a sensitive, un-heroic son the story's boy-leads are realistically characterised, they run away! It has something of 'Night of the Hunter' about it, but with ultra-seductive black-heartedness instead of brutish threat.
Part of the final Robards-Pryce confrontation is straight from the 30's - shadowy long shots, minimal music - and while the ending doesn't truly deal with the momentous events it thinks it does, it isn't overly predictable.
There's cheese, but after all's said and done, don't we kinda like that? Report abuse. I first saw this in the cinema as a child, and loved it despite some terrifying scenes in particular, the confrontation between Mr. Dark and Charles Holloway in the library was seared into my memory. Having recently read the book, I wanted to revisit the movie, and see how it compared, but was very disappointed to find it 'out of print' in the UK.
While I strongly doubt Disney would make this sort of movie these days, it is an absolute classic - effectively a children's introduction to the Horror genre - with an excellent cast Jason Robards is always worth watching, I'd say Jonathan Pryce has never played a more compelling or charismatic villain than Mr.
Dark, and Pam Grier was inspired casting as the Dust Witch. Cathy, purchased on August 5, Good movie. Ernesto, purchased on August 5, Customer Reviews. Average Rating: 4. See all reviews Write a review. Frequent mentions. Average Rating: 5. October 25, Verified purchase. See more. Reviewed by MsPittsburgh1 MsPittsburgh1. January 26, Verified purchase. Reviewed by Fermentista Fermentista.
November 9, Reviewed by LilyWhite LilyWhite. January 13, Verified purchase. Reviewed by Ridor Ridor. August 12, Verified purchase. Reviewed by marideath marideath. See all 18 reviews. Ask a question Ask a question If you would like to share feedback with us about pricing, delivery or other customer service issues, please contact customer service directly. Your question required. Additional details. Send me an email when my question is answered. Please enter a valid email address.
I agree to the Terms and Conditions. Cancel Submit. Pricing policy About our prices. He discovers both of them and crushes the janitor's hand when Mr. Halloway attempts to fight him. The tarot witch casts spells on the boys to mesmerize them and also tries to stop Mr.
Halloway's heart. Just before he is about to die, Charles looks at the Witch and begins to laugh hysterically. His laughter wounds her deeply and drives her away. He then follows Mr. Dark Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes the carnival to rescue the boys.
At the carnival, Charles triumphs over Mr. Dark, finds his son in the mirror maze, kills the Witch with a smile on a bullet, and destroys all the mirrors in a matter of minutes, all through the use of laughter and cheer.
Then he and Will search for Jim. Cooger turns to dust and blows away before he can be saved by the carousel. Jim runs to the merry-go-round and rides it forward. Will tries to stop him and grabs onto his leg. They both end up going for a ride before Will jumps off and rips Jim away from the machine.
Jim falls into a stupor, close to death. A child comes begging them to help him, but Mr. Halloway recognizes the boy as Mr. He holds the boy tight and kills him with affection, because Mr. Dark cannot survive in such Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes contact with someone so happy. The carnival falls apart as Will tries to revive Jim. They save Jim by singing and dancing and laughing, their happiness bringing him back from the edge of death.
Something Wicked This Way Comes can be interpreted as an allegory of the struggle between good and evilwith the human characters Will, Jim, and Charles on the side of morality and Mr. Dark and his carnival on the side of sin and temptation. As in many other fictional works revolving around the same concept, good prevails in the end, not with supernatural or physical powers, but with purity of heart. Jim represents good that is always on the verge of giving into temptation, while Will, though he has crises and doubts, is the part of human nature that resists giving in.
As in Dandelion WineBradbury infuses the novel with nostalgia for his childhood. However, Dandelion Wine embodies the idyllic memories of youth, whereas Something Wicked This Way Comes superimposes folk-tale and supernatural elements over a small-town Americana setting in order to explore the dark undercurrents that surround the transition to adulthood. The carnival's main allure to its participants is its ability to change age easily against natural causes.
Jim wants to become an adult by riding the carousel forward while Charles Halloway initially considers riding the carousel backwards. Even Will is somewhat tempted by the offer for a free trip to adulthood. Charles, however, quickly sees that a ride on the carousel can have unforeseen consequences, because despite age being changed instantly, the carousel would not change the mind of its riders. Or if they turned me into a boy of ten this instant, my brain would still be fifty and that boy would act funnier and older and weirder than any boy ever.
Because of this effect, a person who rode the carousel would be reformed only physically, with the same sins and emotions contained inside. Moreover, a carousel rider's new physical form, created unnaturally, would alienate them from his or her family and peers, leaving the person with nowhere to turn for acceptance except for the carnival itself. Charles best personifies this theme; while he is middle-aged in body, he is still youthful in mind and spirit.
At first, he sees the two conflicting personas within him as irreconcilable and longs to be physically young too, but his active participation in toppling the carnival proves to him that mental fitness and perception of one's age is more important than physical health. Will and Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes can be said to have aged prematurely in the novel; the horrors of the carnival force them to grow up fast to be able to deal with its tricks on a knowledgeable level.
Furthermore, Will and Jim do take a brief ride on the carousel before Will pulls Jim off, and they are never shown reversing this process before Charles destroys its machinations.
Thus, it can be stated that they, in fact, grow up slightly. In this case, though, Will and Jim have also matured emotionally, too, having had their first encounter with evil. This enables them to grow more proportionally in both physical and emotional status. The novel also conveys the theme that the power of people, objects, and ideas have over you depends on the power you instill in them with your own mind.
Because of this, the carnival is able to easily take advantage of the common human fears of aging, death, and loneliness which everyone has or relates to. Charles Halloway is the character who learns the most about this; he initially views death as unpleasant and it thus becomes a sinister force to him that the Mirror Maze magnifies. However, Will's words of love help him to see that age does not matter if one focuses instead on the knowledge and affections gained with it, and as his fear vanishes, so does the Mirror Maze.
He also is able to defeat the Dust Witch once he realizes that she does not have ultimate control over him. With his belief in her powers gone, he turns the tables on the Witch by instilling the same fear in her of his smile that he used to have of her magic. Self-centered desires and wishes are portrayed as the base of human malice and unhappiness because they blind people to the blessings of life with an unattainable dream. The novel's main example of this is Miss Foley's seduction by Cooger's promise of youth that causes her to fail to see his deception as her "nephew," and lose her rightful place in society.
It is implied that the counter-force against this is acceptance of one's faults and an enthusiastic pursuit of the everyday joys of life, signified by Charles' spontaneous running with Jim and Will at the end of the novel. The fact that he is nearly forty years older than them pales in comparison to the pleasure he gains from simple human companionship.
Critics have praised Something Wicked This Way Comes as a classic of fantasy and horror, noting its masterful blending of both genres  and Bradbury's unusual and mesmerizing prose. The magazine Science Fiction Weekly published a review of the novel; an excerpt of it follows:.
A dark fantasy set in a small town, its people are brought to life so expertly readers feel very much like citizens Bradbury's prose is musical and hypnotic, fully engaging the senses and emotions. This is a book, once opened, that truly makes the real world disappear. Science Fiction Sumthin Wicked This Way Comes, another science fiction magazine reviewed it with high praise, referring to it as a "Masterwork" with "a suitably fantastic and scary plot around colourful description The Denver Rocky Mountain News said in"If rational beings had created the best books of the century list, this one would surely have been on it.
The motif of ordinary people up against sinister, supernatural forces appears in many of King's works, including It and Dreamcatcher. King also discusses this novel at length in his non-fiction book Danse Macabre. The book also influenced R. Stinewho said, "Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors.
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