- Director: Tim Burton
- Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
- Details: USA/113mins 12A
- Release Date: 11/05/2012
Does anyone really give a shit anymore? And by anyone I mean those that don't worship at the altar of whatever banal, gothic piece of crap Tim Burton and Johnny Depp churn out. Once again, this is quirk for quirk's sake and is neither particularly funny, scary or anything resembling entertaining. Both these guys are obviously talented, which makes productions as subpar as this all the more criminal.
Depp is Barnabas Collins, a vampire cursed by Eva Green's heartbroken, but dastardly witch and buried alive for a couple of centuries. Waking up in 1972 and chowing down (somewhat comically) on anyone that isn't a family member, he soon finds his old mansion is now occupied by a group of relatives - including Michelle Pfeiffer's jaded but wily head of the family. Naturally enough, Green's bitchy witch has not bought the farm and is still alive and well running a successful fishing company - a business that the Collins clan used to thrive in. If there's a plot in there somewhere, then Burton stumbled across it accidently, Christopher Columbus style.
Ostensibly this appeared to be a return to the Beetlejuice type of production that Burton once excelled at. Somewhat gothic, the characters and comedy are what shone through there, as they did in (probably his best film) Ed Wood. Burton once again gets too caught up in the familiar; Depp does his now customary British accent; the missus, Bonham Carter turns up in a nothing role while everything has a bang of 'quirky on just the right side of broad' about it. The comedic moments aren’t consistent, the pseudo horror scenes half-arsed and the performances all suffer as a consequence.
Listen, Burton's hardcore fanbase will turn out for this no matter what. But the man has grown increasingly lazy over the years, because the tired muck he was churning out kept making serious coin at the box-office - especially when he worked with Depp. It's getting to the point that although brazenly different on paper, his productions will become difficult to differentiate from one another. If one positive thing comes out Dark Shadows it's that Pfeiffer is still a strikingly beautiful woman with charisma to spare. Give her more roles, Hollywood.
Middle-of-the-road, plotless shite. Both Depp and Burton's agents need to sit them down and slap them with a good, contemporary script until they agree to make it properly.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Friday 11th May 2012 | Movie Review
Reading this sounds more enjoyable than watching the moviePosted 10:07 | Wed 9th May 2012
Big Fish was solid.Posted 13:04 | Wed 9th May 2012
Mike is so very right about Burton, and I just want to echo every sentiment.Posted 13:49 | Wed 9th May 2012
Great review but I'll still go and see it!Posted 13:57 | Wed 9th May 2012
The idiosyncratic Tim Burton re-teams with his muse Johnny Depp to dust down musty American soap opera Dark Shadows. A confused product of the late 1960s, it would seem that people on this side of the pond wouldn't have heard of it. No matter, as audiences over here won't have to compare it with the original series. Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a family man cursed by a witch in the 18th Century. He becomes a vampire and is then locked away for two centuries... until he awakens in the altogether different world of 1972. He works on uniting his remaining family members to resurrect the family business while deflecting the attentions of the witch who cursed him. Initially played as a fish-out-of-water story, the film has its darker moments. Barnabas isn't exactly cuddly. Make no mistake - he's a killer. The 1972 setting is distant enough for younger audience members to identify with Barnabas' initial dislocation. However, the tone of the film is confused at times. Burton can't seem to decide what the film really is - a gothic horror, a smalltown soap opera, a fish-out-of-water comedy-drama? Whereas Burton usually tends to be clear about what genre he's working in, he seems less certain with Dark Shadows. However, there's still much to enjoy here - whether it's the amusing storyline or the sharply-etched performances. It wouldn't be one of Burton or Depp's best films together, but a mid-range film from this dynamic duo is better than a lot of films that come out of Hollywood.Posted 23:52 | Wed 9th May 2012
As good an actor as he is, when was his last good movie? Whats the point of acting brilliantly in s**te movies? Fear and Loathing, Ed Wood and Donnie Brasco, what else is there really?Posted 09:46 | Fri 11th May 2012
stinker from the time i seen the 1st trailer.probb a weird kiddy filler movie.depp was always god dam awful only saved by burtons early 90s skill at dark and odd.burton beetlejuice and batman returns now that was great !ps depp stinks!;0Posted 12:18 | Fri 11th May 2012
Fitz, don't be a hater. He's done some great work. Pirates has always been awesome. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory was great. I think this one will be equally funny. I would have liked a scary version but hey, anyone that can pull off a classy way of telling someone to kiss their arse has my attention. That was just priceless in my book.Posted 16:57 | Fri 11th May 2012
Disappointing. Not much of a storyline. Waste of time. Johnny Depp is a good actor but not here. And please don't take children to this. Felt so sorry for the two young boys sitting next to me. Dad chose it.Posted 04:36 | Sat 12th May 2012
You're missing my point robfwtx, while Depp is good in the two movies you suggested they are both Hollywood tripe. It's like drinking nice wine out of a glass made from poo.Posted 09:50 | Mon 14th May 2012
I found this film funny but corny love johnny deep and its up to the individual if they like itPosted 16:21 | Fri 18th May 2012
Don't go and see this, this movie is totally boring!Posted 08:49 | Wed 23rd May 2012
ok to watch, funny in places and easy to follow but not something id watch a second time or buy on dvd or remember the next day. imo the film lets down the good actors...Posted 14:00 | Tue 29th May 2012
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