Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mirror Maze

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) film by Director Jack Clayton is a great family thriller with a bit of fantasy. This film offers some excitement to a little town called Green Town that is visited by the Autumn Carnival. Unfortunately the Autumn Carnival does more than just provide fun, it provides fantasies, dreams, and much more than one life can afford.

Will Holloway (Vidal Peterson) and Jim Nightshade (Shawn Carson) are two 12 year old adventurous boys, who seem to get away with late night outings without their parents noticing. The quickly jumps into explanation of the boys and their fathers – Jim’s always gone on adventures, and Will’s an older man who is the town’s librarian.

Jim is always talking of the adventures his dad is taking in Egypt, and his mother pines away in bed with depression most of the time. While Will is always timid to play anything too rough for fear his dad will get hurt of “old age”.

A mystery carnival unfolds in Green Town, town folk seem to disappear other change – but Will and Jim both know the secrets behind Mr. Dark. Mr. Dark begins his hunt for the boys, ultimately finding them in the library with Mr. Holloway – unraveling the secrets.

Clayton did an excellent job representing the strengths and weaknesses of each character. The overall theme is great for kids, teaching kids the important things in life are worked for and things don’t always have to be perfect on the outside – keep in mind this is a Disney film. The setting was done very well! The small town with all the old time shops offers a very peaceful feel, until the midnight train rocks it. I struggled with the dark running scenes through the fields - I tended to lose the characters. I did really enjoy the wind affects for this film. This really played into the scary scenes and help set the mood for what was to come! The best effect used in this film was the mirror maze. This offered foreshadowing earlier in the film, but then was used as an ending point as well. The intention of looking in the mirror to see who you really are was great! Then (SPOILER ALERT) the break of the mirror by Mr. Holloway to save Will captured the theme well. Character development was lacking overall. It only focused on those affected by the carnival and the two boys. Would have liked to seen more of this in the film. Overall, I did enjoy it and I think this thriller would make it again for children of today. Enough of a thriller to be exciting, but not to scary that the family can’t enjoy on a Friday night.

No comments: