Entombed for 200 years after betraying vengeful witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), 18th century vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) returns to Collinwood Manor in 1972, only to find his estate in ruins and his family plagued by macabre secrets in Tim Burton's reboot of the popular supernatural soap opera. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz
Release Date: May 11, 2012
Rated PG-13 for Language, Comic Horror Violence, Sexual Content, Smoking and Some Drug Use
Runtime: 1 hr. 52 min.
Genres: Comedy, Horror
Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows is an endearing film which shows his obvious affection for the source material. The script written by Seth Grahame-Smith, whose humor is most subtle than the trailer suggest, peppers the film with plenty of melodrama to fulfill several soap operas. He hits on the major points of the original series and provides a workable narrative, it’s not perfect but not the slap stick mess it could have been. While it’s more lighthearted than the original series it’s not the parody some expected. Johnny Depp, in his Burton required mime make up, chews up the screen creating an endearing take on Barnabas Collins. I can’t say it’s different enough to make it memorable but still it’s well done if not singular. Eva Green is equally vampified, showcasing an obvious on screen glee playing her character throughout. The best sequences involve interchanges between Deep and Green as they riff and joust with each other during various points in the films. Sadly, the remaining cast has to deal with thinly written caricatures. A radiant Michelle Pfeiffer and Helena Bonham Carter get the most screen time but are given nothing to do. The rest aren’t required to do more than show up here and there and get out way. A fun finale caps off the film in fine fashion even if it leads to a totally unnecessary sequel set up. As a fan of the original series, I found Burton’s take an adequate homage to a cult classic.