Something Wicked This Way Comes

Year: 1983
Studio: Disney
Director: Jack Clayton
Writer: Ray Bradbury
Cast: Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Pam Grier

Rad Bradbury's name in the credits as the writer and screenwriter was the only reason I decided to watch this film. I should have known it would pass me by. I've only read a couple of Bradbury stories in my life and while I know he's regarded as a visionary science fiction/horror writer, I've never understood anything he's done.

A traveling fair comes to his small Midwest town and captures the imaginations of the townspeople, young Will among them. He's happy with the love of his caring but emotionally damaged father (Robards) and his scrappy best friend Tom, but he can see everyone falling under the spell of the enigmatic leader of the carnival, Mr Black (Pryce).

But even though Mr Black's obviously evil and surrounded by strange minions with sinister powers, few of the townspeople who go to him to have their dreams and desires realised are forced into it.

It seems to be a God versus Satan parable, but whatever fine nuances and subtexts existed under the veneer, I either missed or the material didn't engage me enough to deliver.

But I should also have realised it was familiar – probably like many people my age I tried Bradbury's work after recommendations from Stephen King, and he virtually remade Bradbury's original story in his novel Needful Things.

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