Dark Shadows (2012) review

Dark Shadows is Tim Burton’s latest escapade. Yes it’s a film about vampires but unlike Twilight they don’t sparkle or have werewolves in it who constantly fight over some girl. Dark Shadows is an American horror comedy film based on a gothic soap opera of the same name which ran from 1966-71. It stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins who is a 200 year old vampire  and Michelle Pfeiffer as his cousin Elizabeth Stoddard, a recluse matriarch of the Collins family.


The film starts in the year 1752 with Barnabas’ parents trying to escape a curse that had befallen their family. However even crossing an ocean would not lift the curse. 20 year pass and Barnabas becomes a ladies man and has broken a string of hearts..until he meets Angelique. He assumes that he can do the same to her but when he breaks her heart instead of him just moving on Angelique puts a curse on him, she dooms him to become a vampire for the rest of his life and she then buries him alive. When he is freed from his tomb 200 years later and walks back into the very changed world of 1972 e finds that his once grand home is in ruins and that Collins family have become dysfunctional and is occupied by descendants of his family: matriarch Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), creepy uncle Roger (Jonny Lee Miller), rebellious teen Carolyn (Chloë Grace Moretz), troubled kid David (Gulliver McGrath) and caretaker Willie (Jackie Earle Haley)

The visuals in the film are amazing such as Eva Green’s skin cracking like china, it was executed seamlessly. I would not expect anything less from Tim Burton himself. Tim Burton has a trademark in all his films: his wife. in this particular film she plays Dr Julia Hoffman. A Tim Burton film without the addition of Helen Bonham Carter in it just seems strange. Carter’s role in this film is rather different from all the other roles she has played in any of her other film. As I have said she plays Dr Julia Hoffman who is in the ‘live-in’ psychiatrist. She has been hired to help David comes to term with the loss of his mother. Naturally she helps in no way whatsoever instead drinking Scotch and slouching around. Throughout the film she also wears a strange and rather unflattering pinafore style dress. Most of the music in this film is relied up via a jukebox that plays period music. Alice Cooper also has a cameo in this film.

Although I do like Tim Burton as a director and I do like the film as a whole I will say this, it definately isn’t a 12A. The film lacks the comedy aspect, there a few funny moments but not many. Which just leaves the horror element. Another thing I am rather tiring of is the whole Depp and Burton collaboration. This is the third time that Tim Burton has cast Johnny Depp in one of films. He did the same in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice In Wonderland. I do think it’s time Tim Burton started looking for a new leading man for his films. Saying that it is worth a watch just for Johnny Depp’s performance


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