Something Wicked This Way Comes

With the carnival concept still live and going, I managed to watch 'Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) as recommended by tutor Phil for further references into the theme of a dark carnival.

The plot involves a sinister carnival entering a small town where the proprietor, Mr Dark, lures the townsfolk to their doom with promises to fulfill their deepest desires. Only two children, Jim Nightshade and Charles Halloway, and a father Charles Halloway are able to discover the looming threat and act in time. A traditional tried and true plot with adequate pacing and elements of the supernatural that stand out all too much with limitations in production. Jonathan Pryce's performance of Mr Dark is the highlight of the film, capturing the character of an otherworldly force with a gripping sense of authority.

His actions, if rather few, are disturbingly brilliant especially in his bid to tempt one of our heroes. Here I've posted the fantastic and dramatic scene of the library confrontation which is well worth the watch alone.

There were some great scenes of the carnival being full of atmosphere, appearing normal yet with quiet underlying foreboding tone, before turning completely into unsettling and disturbing nightmare. Some ideas also came to mind such as the peculiar Mirror Maze reflecting the desires of the townsfolk, where the simple act of merry-go-round rotating the 'wrong' way created a simple yet definite sense of the 'unheimlich'.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the film in its honest simplicity in portraying a classic tale of good versus evil, temptation and regret, not to mention the charismatic character of Mr Dark and Jonathan Pryce's stellar performance. It was a fruitful watch that has given me more ideas and references to play on.



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