Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are three intelligent young children who receive terrible news that their parents have died in a fire and have left them an enormous fortune not to be used until the eldest child is of age. When they are sent to live with Count Olaf, a greedy distant relative, they soon learn he is trying to steal their fortune for himself. Written by
The beginning of the film features a false-start opening sequence called "The Littlest Elf". The sequence was created in CGI, but designed to resemble the stop-motion animated children's specials common in the 1960s and '70s, most famously by Rankin-Bass. See more »
When the children first arrive at Count Olaf's mansion, the metal ring/porthole on the main door swings inwards, downwards. However, when the scene shifts to the interior, the porthole is shown to swing sideways, similar to the door. But when the scene shifts back to the exterior of the house, the porthole door swings back upwards from the inside. See more »
[the Littlest Elf has just come to an abrupt halt]
I'm sorry to say that this is not the movie you will be watching. The movie you are about to see is extremely unpleasant. If you wish to see a film about a happy little elf, I'm sure there is still plenty of seating in theatre number two. However, if you like stories about clever and reasonably attractive orphans, suspicious fires, carnivorous leeches, Italian food and secret organizations, then stay, as I retrace each and every one...
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The end credits is a ten minute long cartoon of such incredible beauty that it is a great shame that most people will never watch it. Simply its some of the best animation to come out all year.
While I can give the end credits a 10 out of 10 I can only give the rest of the film a begrudging 7 out of 10, although it should probably be a 6.5. Certainly this is a fantastically well made movie, that is for the most part very well acted but something is amiss in the tone of the film and so it never really is what it should be.
The story of three children who's parents are killed and who are forced from guardian to guardian by the murderous acts of Count Oloff is pretty bleak. And with a title like "A Series of Unfortunate Events" you really can't expect dancing elves, but the film makers have chosen to add a vein of madcap silliness to the proceedings that works against the rest of the film. It seems as if they were afraid that the material was going to be seen as too dark, which is a shame since its clear from the sequences where they left well enough alone that the film could have stood on its own.
Its a good movie, instead of the great one it wants to be.
Definitely worth seeing.
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