The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’: the perfect family friendly movie

Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Cam’ron.

After three Baudelaire children’s parents die in a house fire, they move to life with their distant relative, Count Olaf (Jim Carrey) who tries to trap them in order to obtain their parent’s inheritance money. After the Baudelaire children leave him, they find that Count Olaf is not easy to get rid of.

Based on the book series, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” the film is perfect for families to enjoy.

The 13 book long series began in 1999 and concluded in 2006, and the film came out in 2004.

Since being produced by Nickelodeon Movies, it was already intended for children and as a former child, I loved this movie and rewatching it as a somewhat adult, I still really enjoyed watching it.

The opening scene with the jolly elf and then the narrator saying that was not what the movie was going to be about was unique. It could have thrown audience members off guard, and it was a distinctive way to inform viewers.

Carrey did an exceptional job with his acting performance. Throughout the movie he had to portray different characters to get involved in the Baudelaire’s lives including his regular personality, a pirate, and an animal enthusiast.

He did not overdo his part which kept the acting fun and fresh for children, while also keeping it appealing to adults.

The acting from the children was not the best, they were pretty much worried the entire movie, understandably, so nothing was too special with them. They each had their own specialties which was a nice touch.

The eldest child, Violet Baudelaire, played by Emily Browning, was best with engineering and creating things. Klaus Baudelaire, played by Liam Aiken, was the middle child and a reader and remembered everything that he read. Sunny Baudelaire, the youngest, was only four years old and all she did was bite things, which came in handy at some times.

One of the ways that this film makes itself appealing to pretty much any audience is because is masters that balance of suspense and eeriness. It seems like they get very close to crossing a line and giving the movie a PG-13 rating, but they never cross it, allowing it to have the PG rating.

The music is very lowkey and adds darkness and depth to scenes when it is necessary.

My favorite scene from the film was the train scene when they are stuck and are trying to move the tracks.

There is only a short amount of time to figure out the situation. Obviously, the main suspense came from the plot and them trying to figure out how to get out of the situation, but with the spooky music in the background when the scene starts, it captivates the audience.

Additionally, seeing them use their abilities to complete a goal was appealing the first time, then it kept happening and kind of made it less interesting. This scene was the scene where it was most captivating. It was the first time where we see how far Count Olaf was going to get the inheritance money.

As the scene progresses, the music changes and matches the pace of the action. Another one of my favorite scenes is when the Baudelaire’s meet with their aunt Josephine, Meryl Streep, and the house is being destroyed.

The music helped keep me interesting along with the action and the suspense of the plot.The set up with Josephine telling the kids what to worry about and then the events happening was a poor execution.

She had already told us what to expect and it would have been better if that had not been said.

The ending was kind of a cliff hanger. There was the continuous Easter eggs of telescope. We find out that all the relatives and both parents of the Baudelaire children were a part of some group that discovered fires, but we never get a full explanation about it.

Also, audience members never get a final answer about how the Baudelaire mansion was burned down. We can assume it was Count Olaf, but we do not get a definitive answer.

The CGI was not the best either. With it being made in 2004, it kind of makes sense, but there were times where it was noticeable, but not to the point where it was distracting.

In 2017, A Series of Unfortunate Events was turned into a series and concluded in 2019.

While grossing $211.5M at the box office with a budget of $140M, A Series of Unfortunate Events makes itself a great family night type of movie.

It is appropriate and interesting for all ages.

Rate: 4.5/5.

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

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About the Contributors
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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