Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dark Shadows

Yesterday I saw Dark Shadows, starring Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Barnabas Collins (Depp) is a vampire from the 1700s awakened in the 1970s by construction workers who disrupt his coffin. He's also one of the famous members of the Collins family who built the town in Maine where the story takes place.

Elizabeth (Pfeiffer) is the current matriarch of the household, tending to a bratty daughter, a careless brother and a disturbed nephew. They also have a drunken butler and a live-in shrink. Toss in a scorned former lover/witch who placed the vampire curse on Barnabas originally (yet still wants him) and the film is ready to roll.

But really, it doesn't.

Depp is predictably creepy-wonderful as the fish-out-of-water Barnabas, but they don't give him much to do. Aside from reading Love Story and being mesmerized by a lava lamp (mistaking the goo inside for blood), there aren't too many jokes of the era. In fact, the most entertaining scene is the sex between Barnabas and the witch. It's not remotely erotic, but it's action-packed and sort of funny.

Unfortunately, that's about as good as it gets all around. Burton's styling is good, but not nearly as spectacular as his previous films. All of the actors play their parts well; their dialog just doesn't do them justice.

I'm not old enough to remember the soap opera of the same name, but I had high hopes for this film and its players. The director to be counted on for visual brilliance; the cast permeated with actors I love.

Sadly, the whole production fell below my expectations.



Dan O. said...

It has some real moments that made me laugh and had me enjoyed, but Burton starts to lose himself by the end, therefore, he lost me. Could have been so much better and the only reason it is as good as it is, is because of Depp’s insane performance. Good review Tassoula.

Jennifer Widelitz said...

I agree! I was extremely excited for this movie to arrive in theaters, although I have never seen the original TV series. It had an amazing cast and it looked liked it was going to be another great Tim Burton film. I have to admit that I was disappointed. I was expecting so much humor and comedy, but there wasn't much. It also had a weak ending. Overall, it wasn't the worst I've seen, but it wasn't the best. Johnny Depp was wonderful as always, but I thought it was just okay and not another Tim Burton classic.