Dark Shadows (12a)
Directed by: Tim Burton
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green
Running time: 113mins
An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.
It’s 1760 and Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is the heir to a growing fishing industry in the town of Collinsport, Maine, which has been named after his family due to the thriving family business. Having recently lost his parents and true love to a tragic accident, Barnabas is a tortured soul.
To add further misery upon his narrow shoulders, Barnabas has spurned the love interest of witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) and, as a result, Angelique has exacted a terrible curse upon Barnabas by turning him into a vampire and encasing him in a coffin for nearly two hundred years. Barnabas is finally released and has a thirst not just for blood but for love, but can he find it in 1972?
Dark Shadows is a big budget remake of the television series that ran in the late 1960’s through to the 1970’s and whilst it may not be too familiar to our audience, its theme’s certainly are.
We have the ‘fish out of water’ Barnabas, played expertly by Johnny Depp who looks incredibly slender in this role, as a person who has been tortured in so many ways but still desires little more than to provide for his heirs.
The Collins family, sadly are also troubled in many ways. Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer) is head of the household and lives in their dilapidated mansion while her son, David, (Gulliver McGrath) is receiving psychiatric treatment from Doctor Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter).
With these troubles, not too mention Angelique still wishing to exact her vengeance upon Barnabas and the entire Collins family, the scene is set for a humorous comedy with more bite and sharp tongues than a dinner party at Dracula’s.
The cast appears to have enjoyed making this film as everyone is on top form, from Depp playing a love lorn vampire (nothing like the sparkly Twilight kind) to the scene stealing Helena Bonham Carter.
Director Tim Burton has created another darkly comic masterpiece as the script is filled with brilliant one-liners, a blistering period soundtrack and also a cameo by rock legend Alice Cooper.
Yes the film is both dark in tone and filmed mostly in overcast or shadow light, and it is in a similar vein to his other dark masterpieces such as Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Sleepy Hollow, but this is a Director that knows his speciality genre and givse his audience what they love the most.
In short, if you like Tim Burton’s previous works (especially those with Johnny Depp), then you are going to love this.