Deary me, what a let down! Who remembers when Tim Burton used to have original ideas and was a phenomenal filmmaker? These days he the master of remakes with very little imagination visually, and this one doesn’t fair much better in my opinion. Now he’s bringing us a film adaptation of the 70s soap Dark Shadows and the film suffers from what feels like an attempt to cram a few seasons’ worth of plot into a two-hour movie. I had hopes that he might be getting back to his prime, this film falls as flat as it’s cast.
The story begins in the 1700s, when the Collins family, including the young Barnabas (Johnny Depp), moves from Liverpool to New Hampshire to expand the family fishing business. They succeed, but when Barnabas scorns one of the servants, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), and instead falls in love with the beautiful Josette DuPres (Bella Heathcote), Angelique reveals herself as a witch, kills Josette, and turns Barnabas into a vampire – before having him buried alive. 200years pass and Barnabas is awoken and introduced to the much-changed world of 1972 where he learns that his family’s estate and business is in ruin. He meets the remaining members of the Collins family (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Gulliver McGrath, Chloe Moretz). He then makes it his duty to retore the family to their glory and face his psychotic past brief love Angeligue..who doesn’t age due to her witchcraft.
The script for Dark Shadows, written by Seth Grahame-Smith, is one of the laziest I’ve seen in a long time. I mean seriously, its like he wrote it on a hangover. I don’t really know what else to say!
The film tries to emulate the unintentional hilarity and whacky nature of the series, but the problem is that it just isn’t witty and sharp enough. The movie is blind– unsure if it’s a horror movie, fantasy, comedy,drama – and we never find anything remotely interesting about the characters. Watching Chloe Moretz play a seductive teen wasn’t believable and THAT part where she reveals her other nature was one of the few moments I laughed…not because it was funny, but because it was embarrassing.
One visually beautiful scene was the end…the colour of the beating heart before it breaks, that was gorgeous….
The Burton/Depp/Carter trio just doesn’t work in this film. There was some moments where I kept o questioning if it was THE Tim Burton that directed this. I think someone in his team needs to strap him to a chair and replay all the original films that made us fall in love with him because he has definitely lost his way!
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Jonny Lee Miller
Runtime: 113 mins
Enjoy the trailer
Love and Light x