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Director Tim Burton brings the cult classic series "Dark Shadows" to the big screen in a film featuring an all-star cast, led by Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helena Bonham Carter. In the year 1750, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from England to start a new life in America, where they build a fishing empire in the coastal Maine town that comes to carry their name: Collinsport. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet...until he makes the grave mistake of falling in love with a beauty named Josette DuPres (Bella Heathcote) and breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death-turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Nearly two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972, a stranger in an even stranger time.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 231
- Fresh: 86
- Rotten: 145
- Average Rating: 5.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Burton's offbeat montages are amusing, but the story's slow start and overblown conclusion make Dark Shadows half a good movie.
Rotten: An uncertain combination of elements that unsuccessfully tries to be half-scary, half-funny and all strange...
Rotten: This is not so much a coherent movie as it is a long, expensive joke in search of a purpose.
Fresh: When you consider all the pitfalls avoided, and all the laughs and pleasures it provides along the way, "Dark Shadows" is a satisfying and skillful effort.
A CAMPY, BUT UNEVEN EFFORT FROM TIM BURTON
I've always been a huge fan of Tim Burton's movies, especially those featuring Johnny Depp as the star. Together, they've collaborated on some of the most creative and financially successful films of the past two decades ("Edward Scissorhands", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Sweeney Todd", etc.). So when I heard that their next project would be a big-screen adaptation of the classic soap opera series "Dark Shadows", I was pretty intrigued. Having previously seen only a few episodes of the show, I thought it'd be interesting to see how Burton would put his own gothic spin on it. And for the most part, he did a decent job. The jokes are delightfully campy, the special effects are impressively designed, and the art direction is consistently eye-popping as expected. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie just doesn't hold up as well as I would've initially hoped. For one, there's the story, which fails to find much of a deep, meaningful conflict throughout the film's run time of nearly two hours. In fact, a lot of scenes aren't even connected to the plot, making it somewhat difficult to follow along with and simply awkward to watch at times. The lack of character development is also a constant issue, although most viewers won't seem to mind. Basically, what makes this flick weaker than Burton's past features is the fact that it can never find a coherent tone. It tries to be funny, scary, and overly dramatic all at the same time, and as a result, the movie loses sight of what it should really be focusing on: the storytelling. But even with its glaring flaws, "Dark Shadows" still benefits a great deal from its fully committed cast. Johnny Depp, in particular, lights up the screen as Barnabas Collins, turning in yet another memorable performance as the film's vampire star. Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helena Bonham Carter are also terrific as their respective characters, but even they hardly leave as much of a lasting impression as Depp does. Overall, while "Dark Shadows" certainly isn't Burton and Depp's most accomplished cinematic collaboration, it's a pretty entertaining, albeit inconsistent movie nonetheless. The visuals are spectacular, the 70's-era music is insanely catchy, and the writing can actually be surprisingly smart and witty at times. Yes, the story is all over the place and a lot of the characters are severely underdeveloped, but for what it's worth, it's still a fun film to see at least once, especially if you like Burton's imaginative style of filmmaking. Give it a chance and see what you think.
You have to like Burtons work to like it.
That was awesome
Johnny Depp did a great job of this funny and twist movies.
The acting was very good, the story was good and great score by danny elfman.
- Genre: Comedy
- Released: 2012
- 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. - - U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda. © 2012 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited - - All Other Territories