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REVIEW OF SOMETHING WICKED FEATURING BRITTANY MURPHY

year: 2014 rating: **1/2
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES was a Ray Bradbury novel turned into a dark 1980'S Disney movie. Yet the original quote came from Shakespeare. So instead of remaking Bradbury's tale, a semi horror film was derived from Shakespeare's quote – and has little to do with anything except the word WICKED…

We’re not talking witches here, and to disclose exactly who fits that description would be a spoiler in itself. Sadly, this is a weekend with posthumous releases – James Gandolfini in THE DROP playing opposite SOMETHING WICKED, co-starring the late Brittany Murphy, who passed away in 2009... And after a five year limbo, the movie has finally been released...

Although seeming patched together, the mystery and suspense are intriguing once you figure out who everyone's related to... and the bloody body count aspect is prominent following the prologue: A young couple, Christine and Ryan, played by Shantel VanSanten and John Robinson, are talked out of marriage by her rich parents during dinner and right afterwards, a horrible car accident leaves only the youngsters alive.

After suspending disbelief that anyone could survive a head on collision with a fast moving train, the busy storyline takes some getting used to: Christine, stalked by a masked marauder, is overly protected by her creepy cop brother while his wife, Brittany Murphy’s psychologist, Susan, has strong doubts about her sister-in-law while treating a young man who fantasizes about Christine… Confusing enough?!?

For fans of the late starlet, Brittany Murphy has less than a supporting role. It’s terribly sad seeing her so gaunt and ironic as her character abuses prescription meds. The bulk of the film belongs to Shantel VanSanten, who does a semi decent job as a horror film victim but starts improving once things cruise into a murky Film Noir atmosphere – scuffs added to a clean slate. At this point the story, the characters, and the title all become more clear.
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