Can two young boys overcome the worst the devil himself can deal out? Wishes are granted, but twisted as only the esteemed Mr. Dark can make them. Based on the Ray Bradbury novel. Written by
Mayla Kalrist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Frequently billed as kids fare, since it is a Disney Production, this movie is a beautifully crafted adaptation of the Ray Bradbury science fiction story. It is perhaps one of Disney's finest productions, a real movie with a real plot, excellent characterizations, and well acted. This from a company more known for mindless mush. This movie has something for everyone. For the kids there is a simple horror story, not too scary, one they can handle. Yet for the mature viewer there is lots of symbolism and allegory, deep imagery and lots to analyse.
The cast is first rate. Jason Robards plays Dad, the town librarian. Arthur Hill is the narrator, or the voice of young Will Halloway, son of the librarian. Royal Dano has a role as the one legged, one armed town barkeep. And Johnathan Pryce plays the evil Mr. Dark. Diane Ladd plays his sidekick, the evil Mrs. Nightshade.
The story is about young Will, acted by Vidal Peterson, and his best friend Jim, acted by Shawn Carson. Both are 12 years old, and the movie is really their coming of age. For a boy to become a man, he must realize the consequences of his choices in life.
Everyone in this little town needs something, has a dream or wish. Will needs a dad who's healthy and can play with him. Poor dad needs a better heart. Jim's dad ran away, and his mom is loopy. The barkeep needs new limbs. The barber needs a girlfriend. The teacher needs her beauty returned.
The evil Mr. Dark and his circus arrive in town. And promise to make everyone's dream come true. But only at a great price, of giving up their souls. A deal with the devil.
This is temptation with a capital T. Greed overcomes prudence, and everyone will take on Mr. Dark's offer. Only Will can save his best pal Jim, and also the rest of the town. Love will conquer evil, good will triumph after a long fight. Temptation does go away if it is fought long enough.
The boys act with great talent. Pity they did not go on to similar quality appearances. One is reminded of the twin boys Chris and Martin Udvanorsky in the movie The Other, which is also a horror thriller. Or the horror movie The Good Son with Mac Culkin and Elijah Wood.
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