Dark Shadows

Last Updated: December 25, 2012By Tags: , ,

Few television-to-movie adaptations actually end up working out. So, it’s with great disappointment that “Dark Shadows,” based off a seventies TV 
show, never really comes into the light despite best efforts by Tim Burton and
 Johnny Depp, their collaborations now numbering eight.

Depp’s Barnabas Collins is a part of the thriving Collins company in the eighteenth century before an evil witch, Angelique (Eva 
Green), turns him into a vampire and encases him in a coffin after spurning her

Unearthed in 1972, Barnabas sees that his Collins estate is now in 
ruins, his family has also been hit hard by this curse, and Angelique is
running the town but still wants Barnabas as her own, or she will destroy
 everything he holds dear.

This film is a visual treat. With its haunting, gothic, funky 
atmosphere, make-up, costume design, and special effects, it’s hard not to 
admire how striking this looks on screen.

Michelle Pfeiffer (matriarch),
 Chloe Moretz (her daughter), Johnny Lee Miller (her brother), Helena Bonham
 Carter (family therapist), Jackie Earle Haley (estate groundskeeper), and 
Gulliver McGrath (grandson) all look fantastic as they fill out the household but 
Burton mostly centers the movie around the dueling Barnabas and Angelique.

leaves a lot to be desired from the rest of the cast, primarily Bella Heathcote,
 playing the house governess who looks a lot like Barnabas’s lost love, but is 
given little screen time as either teacher for the grandson or more importantly,
 compelling love interest.

No one seems to have more fun in make-up and costume than
 Depp (except maybe Dame Edna) and his reserved performance clashes well with
Green’s vampy seductress. Just it’s not enough to cover for lack of laughs; 
Barnabas’s fish-out-of-water act being more dated (misinterpreting everything
 from TV to lava lamps) than funny. “Dark Shadows” is fine esthetically but the 
storytelling could have used fresher blood.

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