Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Movie Review

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Poster

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

1983 | PG | Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy, Family
95 minutes / 1h 35min

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Something Wicked This Way Comes Plot Synopsis:

In Green Town, Illinois, the twelve year-old boys Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are neighbors and best friends. Will's father Charles Halloway is an old man and the local librarian while Jim and his mother wait for the return of the return of their father and husband that will never occur. The boys know everyone in town, including their school teacher Miss Foley that misses her beauty and youth; the lonely barber Mr. Crosetti that has no girlfriend or wife; the greedy owner of a cigar store Mr. Tetley that is obsessed with money; and the bartender Ed that has severed arm and leg and dreams on being a football hero. One day, Jim buys a lightning rod from the salesman Tom Fury that tells that a storm is coming. During the night, the boys overhear a mysterious train and they run through the woods to see the arrival but they do not see a living soul. However, they find the Mr. Dark's Pandemonium Carnival ready to be enjoyed and they snoop around. Soon they realize that frustrated and greedy people are vanishing in town and the evil Mr. Dark and the Dust Witch make their dreams come true. In return, Mr. Dark seizes their souls. Now Mr. Dark is seeking them out but Charles Halloway has a journal from his father about the autumn carnival that might be their last chance to defeat the evil.

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Review

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) comes from fantasy author Ray Bradbury who wrote both the novel and this film’s screenplay. Jack Clayton directed Something Wicked This Way Comes for Disney as a fantasy mystery thriller movie. This movie had a pretty high estimated budget of $19 million dollars.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is about two boys who become entangled in an evil circus carnival. The entire small town succumbs to the evil lead by Mr. Dark played by Jonathan Pryce. One by one everyone slowly becomes persuaded by their greatest desires resulting in them becoming a part of the attraction.

This film depends heavily on the performances of the children actors which they did a mostly convincing portrayal most of the time. This movie does not do justice to some of the scenes that Bradbury nailed in the books. The film does, however, shine at other moments but never completely pulls off the overall feel that the movie looks to have been trying to pull off. Some scenes feel like they only needed one last take to really nail the scene. Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce shine in this film with Robards pouring so much into his role as the older father and Pryce making you loathe him. Pam Grier appears as the Dust Witch making it an interesting casting as Grier as the most beautiful woman in the world even though she played the role, okay, she was uncharismatic. Shame that the film lacked the luster to make it more memorable.


  • Something Wicked This Way Comes Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 6
  • Overall Score: 6.23
  • IMDB: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 5.9

About Something Wicked This Way Comes 1983

Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Year: 1983
Runtime: 95 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy, Family
Reviewer: Score: 3 / 5 stars Avg. Rating: 3.11/5 stars from 7,376 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 7,376 MPAA Rating: PG
Something Wicked This Way Comes Cast Starring: Pam Grier, Phil Fondacaro, Royal Dano, Jonathan Pryce, Jerry Maren, Angelo Rossitto, Jill Carroll, James Stacy, Peter Risch, Tim T. Clark, Jason Robards, Tony Christopher, Sharan Lea, Diane Ladd, Scott De Roy, Vidal Peterson, Sharon Ashe, Shawn Carson, Arthur Hill, Mary Grace Canfield, Richard Davalos, Steve Mirer, Jake Dengel, Jack Dodson, Bruce M. Fischer, Ellen Geer, Brendan Klinger
Something Wicked This Way Comes Writers: Ray Bradbury
Something Wicked This Way Comes Director: Jack Clayton
Production: Walt Disney Productions
Language: English
Country: USA