Dark Shadows

"OK"

Dark Shadows Review


There were 1,245 episodes of the gothic soap Dark Shadows between 1966 and 1971, so adapting it into a movie was never going to be easy. The script is an odd mix of smart dialog and random plot-strands, and while Burton gets the style right he never quite finds the tone.

After spending nearly 200 years trapped in a coffin, Barnabas Collins (Depp) is released to rejoin what's left of his wealthy New England family in 1972. The matriarch Elizabeth (Pfeiffer) now lives in the falling-down manor Collinswood with her brother Roger (Miller), her daughter (Moretz) and his son (McGrath), as well as a live-in shrink (Bonham Carter), a caretaker (Haley) and a new governess (Heathcote). But Angelique (Green), the witch who turned Barnabas into a vampire, is still trying to destroy the family.

The script is a collection of soap-opera story threads: Angelique's increasingly maniacal efforts to thwart Barnabas from saving the Collins family business, Barnabas' sudden crush on the governess who looks like his long-lost love, the young son's mental instability after his mother's death. Strangely, this leaves the terrific Pfeiffer with nothing to do but radiate her character's exasperation. Bonham Carter, Moretz, Haley have fun even though they too sit mainly on the sidelines. And Miller is completely superfluous.

Through all of this, Depp once again camps it up to fine effect as an undead gentleman outside of his time. This leaves Green to give a wildly over-the-top performance that calls to mind the Meryl-Goldie diva-off Death Becomes Her, especially when the effects wizards get their hands on her. But the film isn't a broad comedy, and there are occasional moments when everything comes together into something rather sophisticated and darkly witty.

Indeed, the script is packed with clever dialog, and Burton keeps it eye-catching, with first-rate effects, clever set design and warm cinematography. The 1970s period allows for a steady stream of amusing gags, plus music from the Carpenters to Alice Cooper, who pops in to perform a couple of numbers on-screen. But for the most part, it's simply not funny enough to keep us entertained and not dramatic enough to hold our interest.



Dark Shadows

Facts and Figures

Run time: 113 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th May 2012

Box Office USA: $79.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $245.5M

Budget: $150M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Warner Bros. Pictures, Infinitum Nihil, GK Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 37%
Fresh: 86 Rotten: 145

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Christi Dembrowski, , David Kennedy, , Richard D. Zanuck

Starring: as Barnabas Collins, as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, as Dr. Julia Hoffman, as Willie Loomis, as Roger Collins, as Angelique Bouchard, as Victoria Winters, Chloë Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, as David Collins, as Clarney, as Alice Cooper, Ivan Kaye as Joshua Collins, Susanna Cappellaro as Naomi Collins, Raffey Cassidy as Young Angelique, Josephine Butler as David's Mother, as Board Member 2

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.