Like Roald Dahl's stories, the Lemony Snicket books by Daniel Handler fascinate children by reveling in the morbid. None of them is long enough to sustain a feature, however, so screenwriter Robert Gordon has combined three titles for this episodic but entertaining fantasy. A grandstanding Jim Carrey plays the vain and greedy Count Olaf, who uses a variety of disguises as he tries to steal the inheritance of the three Baudelaire orphans (Liam Aiken, Emily Browning, and twins Kara and Shelby Hoffman). The young leads play straight to a parade of zany adults (Timothy Spall, Catherine O'Hara, Billy Connolly, Meryl Streep, Luis Guzman, Cedric the Entertainer), and the script toys wittily with storytelling conventions. Directed by Brad Silberling. PG, 107 min.