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Dark Shadows (2012)

Tim Burton has a new movie out, and guess who’s starring in it?
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter? Both, and that’s not the only thing that has become clichéd in his approach.

As we all know, or at least most of us, Tim Burton is known for his Gothic styled sets, his long-lasting relationship with Mr. Depp and (in a not so distant past) great movies.
We are talking about the maker of Edward Scissorhands, 2 Batman movies, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish.
So respect where respect is due.

We don’t even need to go through the resumé that Mr. Depp has built up. But the trend that started with ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and continued with ‘Alice In Wonderland’ has not found its end with Mr Burton’s latest movie.

After that rather lengthy introduction, lets talk about the movie in question: ‘Dark Shadows’.
Based on a 1966 soap opera called (wouldn’t you know it) ‘Dark Shadows’, the show centered on Barnabas Collins, a man who was cursed to live a life as a vampire. Loved by many people, and with an epic performance from Jonathan Frid, Depp has able shoes to fill.
The movie starts out with a nice montage that sets up the entire backstory for us.
After that first 5 minutes and the first ”real” shot that kickstarts the story, you’ll get the first major letdown when a plotpoint is so clearly in full sight that it’s not even possible to miss where the story is going.

Yes, Depp is enjoyable as a vampire, but he has some of the worst writing to plough through and some horrible ‘jokes’, which even couldn’t be loved by the most devoted fans of the original.
On top of that, the movie never decides what it wants to be, part comedy, part soap opera, part horror (a very bad one at that) and part a Depp/Burton vehicle as we’ve seen 7 times over before.
It’s undeniably a labour of love for some of the people involved, its even frustrating at times to see a good movie that is lying beneath all that we see on the big screen.

This is most clear in hindsight, thinking back to the opening sequence, there were a lot of ways to go with the story, and it would’ve been good if Mr. Burton decided clearly what he wanted to do with this movie.
The supporting cast (which includes names such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloë Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley and Eva Green) should provide a good counterweight for Mr. Depp but get’s killed off as well, by uninspired writing and bad, really bad, story arcs.

This is by far the biggest flop of 2012 so far, at least to me, and it’s definitely not worth your hard earned money at the box office.
Instead opt for seeing ‘The Avengers’ a second time, I promise you that it will give you more thrills and be less predicting the 2nd time then ‘Dark Shadows’ is on its first viewing.

4/10 stars!



2 thoughts on “Dark Shadows (2012)

  1. Yikes. Now, I am really disappointed. Such a shame. I wanted this to work out. I LOVE Dark Shadows. Guess I’ll pass on this and keep watching the soap on Netflix. Great write up!

    Posted by Victor De Leon | May 12, 2012, 22:13
  2. This review really reflects the feelings I had whilst watching the trailer of “Dark Shadows”. And trailers most of the times are based upon the good parts of a movie. Jokes that are more dull than those in one of the scary movie spin offs. Insane. I just can’t believe this movie was created by the same genius that gave us “Big Fish”. Depp needs a new director and Burton needs a new muse.

    Posted by JK | May 15, 2012, 17:39

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