IT'S hard to believe Jim Carrey's turn as Count Olaf in the big-screen adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events hit cinemas 12 years ago.
Now author Daniel Handler's (who wrote under the pen name Lemony Snicket) beloved series of novels about the turbulent lives of the Baudelaire children has been adapted for a new generation.
Netflix's new eight-part series, also called A Series of Unfortunate Events, stars Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris as the Baudelaire children's cruel guardian.
If you're not familiar with the story, it recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans - Violet, Klaus, and Sunny - whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance.
The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans, to discover clues to their parents' mysterious death.
I have to say I like Harris's Count Olaf better than Carrey's; he feels more dangerous.
"I think I was able to be as fearless as I have ever been before as an actor, because I was so hidden," the 43-year-old recently told People magazine.
"I was able to hide within the prosthetics and a totally different look and play someone who is just as overtly ridiculously mean as possible."
The role is actually several characters rolled up into one as Olaf, a wannabe theatre actor, dons several disguises to try to fool the intelligent Baudelaire orphans.
Multi-talented Harris also sings the show's theme song urging viewers to look away from the "horrors'' to follow.
Patrick Warburton, aka Puddy from Seinfeld and Jeff from Rules of Engagement, is perfect as the narrator/author Lemony Snicket. His deep booming voice and deadpan delivery set the tone from the show's opening line: "If you were interested in stories with happy endings you'd be better off somewhere else."
This is sure to be a breakthrough role for Malina Weissman, who plays the eldest Baudelaire child Violet, just as the 2004 film was for Aussie actress Emily Browning.
The series also stars Joan Cusack, Catherine O'Hara, K Todd Freeman, Alfre Woodard, Don Johnson, Rhys Darby and Aasif Mandvi.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is available to stream on Netflix from Friday.