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Movie Review: Dark Shadows

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton join forces for the eighth gothic time to adapt an old 70's TV show.

Review: 2.5 out of 4

Few television-to-movie adaptations actually end up working. So, it’s with great disappointment that “Dark Shadows,” based off a 70s TV
show, never really comes into the light despite best efforts of Tim Burton and
Johnny Depp—their projects together now numbering eight.

Depp plays Barnabas Collins, part of the thriving Collins
seafood company in the 18th century before an evil witch, Angelique (Eva
Green), turns him into a vampire and encases him in a coffin after spurning her
advances.

Unearthed in 1972, Barnabas sees that his Collinwood 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 is a visual treat. With its haunting, gothic, funky
atmosphere, make-up, costume design, and special effects, it’s hard not to
admire how perfect this all 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 good as they fill out the household but
Burton mostly centers the movie around the dueling Barnabas and Angelique.

This
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’ lost love, but is
given scant 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 noble performance clashes well with
Green’s vampy seductress. Just it’s not enough to cover for lack of laughs;
Barnabas’ fish-out-of-water act being more dated (misinterpreting everything
from TV to lava lamps) than funny. “Dark Shadows” looks great but the
storytelling could have used fresher blood.

Click for local movie showtimes from Moviefone

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Risa Hoag May 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Hi Craig, while I agree that Tim Burton enjoys visually exciting us more than telling a coherent story (and the NY Times concurs but also seemed to enjoy it) I was riveted to the IMAX Palisades screen watching this movie. And I'm not particularly a Tim Burton or a Johnny Depp fan, but this movie was a great ride! And Johnny Depp really brought this character to life in an endearing portrayal. While the last scene dragged on for me I would give this movie a 4.25 out of 5! Great music, unexpected laughs, an fascinating characters. But you must see it on the enormous IMAX Palisades screen! It makes a HUGE difference!
GoJo73 May 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I took my 15 year old daughter and 13 year old son because they were dying to see it. When it was over, I was slightly amused, but both kids said it dragged and found it boring. 2 stars out of 5.......
Dina Sciortino May 17, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Thanks everyone for sharing!
Krista Madsen May 17, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Huge movie for our villages (TT and SH) where they filmed the original! http://patch.com/A-kvtr

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