Snicket film not just for kids

David Haut - Managing Editor

David Haut – Managing Editor

David Haut

What do you get when you cross Jim Carrey with three kids, dazzling art direction and a strange and twisted plot?

I’m not talking about The Grinch, (which is much easier to type.)

No, I’m talking about Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events. With a name like that, it’s got to be good.

Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are three brilliant, unique children orphaned after a mysterious fire kills their parents and destroys their home.

They are left in the hands of bank secretary Mr. Poe, who is to ensure the children have a safe place to stay.

They are taken to their closest relative, that is, closest in proximity. They meet their distant uncle, Count Olaf (Carrey), an out-of-work actor who, as we find out, has been relentless in trying to inherit the family’s fortune.

Olaf enslaves the children, forcing them to live as his servants.

Using their ingenuity, the children manage to escape Count Olaf, at least for a while.

They go from one relative to the other, whilst being stalked by a disguised Olaf.

As each event becomes worse and worse, clues are uncovered about the Baudelaire’s parents and the real reason for their death.

The film, based on a series of books by Lemony Snicket, a.k.a. Daniel Handler, is wildly creative and fun. I haven’t read the books, but I can still tell there were several events that were crammed into one film.

Still, the result is one of the most fun movies of last year.

The characters are original and just plain fun. Carrey, as Count Olaf, takes on other characters using his unique wit and uncontrollable mannerisms. It’s hard not to like him, even though he’s the bad guy.

The young actors were remarkable in the film as well. Emily Browning starred as Violet, the 14-year-old master inventor.

Liam Aiken is Klaus, who loves to read and can remember everything.

The baby Sunny is played by twins, Kara and Shelby Hoffman and his perhaps the most fun character of all. Sunny speaks her own language and loves to bite things.

Director Brad Silberling, whose credits include Casper and City of Angels, combines surreal art direction with outlandish costumes and dynamic sets to make Lemony Snicket’s Unfortunate Series of Events a film you really should see before it leaves theaters.