Dark Shadows (2012)

Dark Shadows

Release Date: May 11, 2012

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green

Runtime: 113 min

Tagline: Every family has its demons

It’s the year 1752, and Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) and his family had just set sail to America, in search of a greater life. Though, they could not escape the mysterious curse that was placed upon his family. Skip two decades, to where Barnabas is the head of Collinwood Manor, but he makes the mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), a maid who’s really a witch. When Barnabas would not love her in return, she placed a curse upon him to turn into a vampire when he dies, so he will have to live for eternity, knowing that his one true love is dead. Skip two centuries, and Barnabas is just waking up from his dirt nap after being trapped inside of a coffin. He makes his way back to Collinwood Manor, and he offers a little support to his descendants, while Angelique still roams the earth…

Dark Shadows is based on a late 60s to early 70s TV show of the same name. This is also the eighth Tim Burton-Johnny Depp vehicle, and it isn’t very good. The Burton-Depp team has brought us great films like Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd; but they have also brought us bad films like the just okay Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the apparently disappointing Alice in Wonderland. Can you figure out which side it belongs on? It belongs on the bad side. If Shadows were to stand on its own two feet, it isn’t impressive or groundbreaking at all, and if it were to stand with the seven other Burton-Depp vehicles, it would just be awful. Burton has been known for his dark material in films and that signature over-the-topness, and this one is certainly over-the-top, but not in a very good way.

It tries to be funny, and fails. It tries to be fantastic, and fails. There are only one or two pretty good jokes, but the majority of them are big misses. There are some scenes that were meant to be action packed, but they felt really quite boring. They were over the top, but not in the great way we want Burton’s flicks to be. It feels more like a newcomer to the directing game who is experimenting with his options.

The whole vampire love story is getting so old, it’s just about been sucked to death (and brought back to life five times) by the Twilight series. It’s certainly better than the Twilight series, but not by a whole lot. There are some pleasant twists thrown at the audience, that some viewers will like, but most may say, “That’s so ridiculous, I should have saw that one coming.” The story is just a bit too uninteresting to carry itself well enough throughout the entire 113 minutes. It was a giant chore to watch. The acting is okay, and really the only interesting characters are Barnabas (Depp), David (Gulliver McGrath) and Carolyn (Chloe Grace Moretz). The cast is certainly attractive, but some of them don’t offer their usual chops to the table (excluding Depp and Moretz, the rest are just average).

Dark Shadows has a pretty uninteresting plot and a vampire premise that has highly been worn out, only a few likeable characters that can be counted on one hand, and a generally boring endeavour from the Burton/Depp union.


13 thoughts on “Dark Shadows (2012)

  1. I fully agree with you this does look like a newcomer to the whole directing thing. Like someone saw a TIm Burton flick and copied it. I loved the look of the film before it went to the 70’s but when it did I really did not notice much of a change in the cinematography. Great review

    1. Yeah, that was definitely better than when it went to the 70s, I didn’t particularly care for either setting, but I respected the eighteenth century vibe more. Thank you!

  2. I’m gonna do one on this one as well. Tried to sneak around it but failed..
    Just stop with the vampires already or do a better job please! bring back the Dracula form the old days! 😀 Terror and blood! 😀

    1. Let me know once you post your review! Hahah, at least stop with the vampire romance! What’s up with that concept? Last year’s Fright Night was a decent remake. I still need to see Dracula 😦 Exactly, though! That’s all we really want 😉

      1. Well he has always been a sex symbol not to argue there. But it was never well seen for the “victim” gosh!

        I dont hate Twilight at all, im acually a fan… of the teen movie and the love story but the vampire and “werewolf” shit is just lame to put on top of it.. and im a fan of the books 🙂

        Underworld is more my kinda vampire movie ! 😀 if it has to be in a modern setting! 🙂

      2. It seems like an okay idea for its target audience and those who can appreciate it. I haven’t given the books a read. I may have seen one of those, but I haven’t been able to get into Underworld! Hahah, yes very true. Modern settings are quite fine.

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