Try as I might to get into this movie, based on the classic Ray Bradbury tale, I've found myself blocked by its off-putting ways. The guts of the piece are there: Evil carnival comes to town and wreaks havoc on everyone who lives there. But something comes up short that I can't quite place. My best guess: The focus of the film is on two Hardy Boys-like kids who play detective. They aren't very bright nor very likeable, and they detract from some otherwise fun set pieces. In fact, the film is by far at its best when they're nowhere to be seen.
Genuinely scary though unmemorable Stephen King thriller features a pedantic writer tormented by his "dark half," who enjoys writing twisted horror stories. Recently out on DVD, and worth a look for Timothy Hutton's freaky portrayal of the two halves.