Dark Shadows (2012)

Dark Shadows (2012)
  • Time: 113 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Fantasy
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer

In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better…

One review

  • I’m a fan of Tim Burton, at least his older work, and Dark Shadows, as a dark comedy, may seem right up his alley. Much of the look of the film is technically sound, and the actors, particularly Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chloe Moretz, do what they can with the material. Alas, that material is weak, and Dark Shadows becomes a drag to sit through.

    The story follows Barnabas, a man cursed by a witch to become a vampire, and is then locked in a coffin and buried by the village people for 200 years. He is released in 1972 (Deliverance is playing at the theatre), bent on reuniting with his living family, restoring the family business and triumphing over the witch, who has gone on to found a rival company.

    Except for one crack about equality of the sexes and the bit about stoning the vampire, all of the jokes fall flat. There’s many of the same old tired jokes we’ve seen before in stories about someone from another era or world falling into our own- looking for a sorceress songstress in a TV, Depp saying inexplicable things and Pfeiffer’s character covering it up as best as she can. Stale jokes about immortal breasts not ageing fail to impress. As well, none of these characters are endearing at all. Reciting The Joker doesn’t make Depp’s character lovable enough to pardon him for mass murdering innocent workmen and hippies. Let the Right One In (2008) had a killer vampire you couldn’t help but hope would survive and get away. I wouldn’t mind driving a stake through Barnabas myself; at least the movie would end quicker. It’s under two hours, but feels longer. This certainly isn’t Burton’s best work; at least it’s better than Mars Attacks!

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