Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) **1/2 out of 5 asterisks
Director: Jack Clayton
Starring: Jason Robards, Jonathan Pryce, Vidal Peterson, Shawn Carson

I've been a fan of Ray Bradbury since I was old enough to read, but this Disney-imagineered vision of Bradbury's masterwork of fiction is just too family-friendly. If there ever was a Disney-produced film that was actually worthy of a remake, this deserves a darker, more adult treatment. It's an okay film by Disney standards: it does achieve a suspenseful and atmospherically creepy drama, and James Horner's score is enjoyable, but it just lacks... oomph. Fans of Disney's traditional fare might enjoy this, but horror fans will be sorely disappointed.

Also disappointing for Disney/DVD collectors is that neither of the bonus features produced for the 1983 laserdisc (commentary and behind-the-scenes featurette) were included on Disney's 2004 or Anchor Bay's 1999 DVD versions. And either DVD release would have more value to collectors and fans if they had done a video interview with Ray Bradbury who also drafted the film's screenplay.

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