10/5/15 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #5 – Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Something Wicked

Back to my childhood for today’s pick. Whoa, wait… is that a Disney movie!? Why yes it is. But listen to Daddy Jeff here. Do not let that dissuade you because this isn’t any ordinary Disney flick. Oh no. This little ditty was from back when Disney wasn’t afraid to make some seriously creepy movies. They knew that sometimes kids actually like to be scared. What a concept! Gee, I wonder why Halloween is so popular… but I digress. Something Wicked This Way Comes is based on a Ray Bradbury book, plus he actually wrote the screenplay, so it’s got the same feel. And as we all know, Ray knows how to deliver the creepy goods. The story circles around a small town that is visited by a traveling carnival (that mysteriously arrives and sets up in the middle of the night), and soon after the sweet townspeople start to disappear. The evil goings-on are discovered by two young boys who become embroiled in a battle of good vs. evil that is far bigger than their tiny town. The setting, characters, and overall vibe is all actually kind of similar to A Christmas Story, in that it’s set in the same time period, the main characters are kids, and there’s even some narration. Although, A Christmas Story never had themes that dealt around a demonic man catering to your deepest desires and/or darkest laments, then stealing your soul as payment. It’s these themes that are far more “adult” than Disney usually delivers, and that’s why this movie stands out to me. Many of the individual stories of the townspeople, and their sadness or yearnings, are kind of twisted. There’s the (creepy) barber who is lonely and yearns to be with women from all over the world. There’s the amputee barkeep that yearns to be the sports hero he used to be before his accident (which is oddly never mentioned.) Even our main characters have some pretty dark backstories that are not usual for a flick like this. And speaking of dark, the main villain Mr. Dark (played by the incredible Jonathan Pryce) is such a fantastic creation to terrify children. Anyway, you get my point. This isn’t an ordinary Disney. They weren’t even afraid to spill some actual blood! A few sequences stuck in my young brain for years, and that’s a good thing. Oh man, I still remember the spider attack sequence. Plus, there was that damn creepy witch’s face. And of course that damn carousel… and that incredible finale. Oh man, and it’s even got a scene with dwarf clowns! Not kidding. Dwarf clowns. Just trust me on this one, and bonus, if you’ve got kids that want to watch something this Halloween that won’t insult their intelligence, give it a whirl. You’ll all dig it.

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