Even before the first book (on which the film is based) had been published, the film rights had been snapped up. The pivotal role of Violet is played by young Australian actress, Emily Browning. Whose previous films include The Man Who Sued God, alongside Billy Connolly. Lemony Snicket's depicts a gothic dystopia with extravagant, otherworldly sets and gloomy cinematography - as bleak as Tim Burton's Batman. Jim Carrey is a true chameleon, and the rest of the cast is equally engaging. But the film is simply not menacing enough. The children experience some truly unfortunate events, but you never really feel scared for them. Director Brad Silberling and writer Robert Gordon haven't adapted the episodic nature and wry intelligence of the books cohesively. But if you're a fan of darkly wicked tales, you'll still find this absorbing.