My wife and I were still dating, and I asked her if she knew of the Fremont Centre Theatre? I had mistakenly thought it the Pasadena Playhouse, and was now frantically digging out my trusted Thomas Guide in order to find the location of the venue featuring a play written by Ray Bradbury. I had secured tickets to opening night, and surprised her with them as a part of my carefully organized (not so carefully, as it turned out) mystery date.
I had been a fan of the famous author since childhood, having read many of his works as part of my high school book club. Over the past few years, I had been fortunate enough to meet Ray on a number of occasions, always as a customer at the excellent Mystery and Imagination Bookshop, owned by the extremely friendly and knowledgable Christine and Malcom Bell.
She served as navigator as I hurriedly made our way through the dimly lit streets, in hopes of arriving before the opening curtain. We pulled into a parking spot, and found our seats just in time for the house lights to dim.
As the play progressed, I noticed, seated directly in front of me, a wheelchair bound figure. As I deduced, it indeed was Ray. During intermission, he politely took the time to speak at length with my wife and I. It was a night I’ll not soon forget.
As I was preparing my list of films for this series, I realized I had never seen one of the films based on one of Ray’s famous works. I recently had reread the book, and decided what opportune time to finally view the film.
31 Days of Films and Frights – Day 24: Something Wicked This Way Comes
A mysterious carnival appears in a small rural town, granting the dreams of the townsfolk. Their wishes come at a terrible cost, however, and it’s up to a boy and his father to deliver their town from the coming evil.
This film simply shines as a testament on how to adapt a novel into a film that completely captures the heart of the original work. The cinematography, the acting (Robards is simply wonderful), the direction, and the music (James Horner at the top of his game) work together like a perfectly contructed jigsaw puzzle.
The eeriness of the nefarious Mr. Dark, the lusts and temptations of the members of the small affected town, and the innocence of the two boys are all excellently portrayed. I completely bought into the performances of the entire cast, and was engrossed for the entirety of the 95 minutes.
It’s rare that I watch a film and don’t find any faults. That’s not to say there aren’t any (I intend to watch this winner again, and will update this post shall I discover anything worthy of note), but I was simply too engrossed to notice. Another sign of an excellently crafted tale.
This will be a film that will join the ranks of The Lost Boys and The Goonies as a picture I will annually watch during the Halloween season.