In this gothic horror comedy based on the cult television series of the same name, an imprisoned vampire returns to his family estate in 1972 where his dysfunctional descendants have taken up residence.
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This had every potential to be awesome, but it all goes painfully wrong in the execution. Surprisingly, it's not the cringe-inducing goofy mess the trailers seemed to promise, but it's most glaring flaw might be something even worse: it's boring. Dull, talky, and plodding, the script is woefully lazy and underworked; even Burton's distinct visual style looks tired and routine. A major disappointment.
Tim Burton's odd reimagining of the supernatural soap opera from the 1970s is a strange mixture of comedy and drama that never seems to coalesce into a satisfying whole. Parts of it work - Johnny Depp's performance as a curse vampire who returns to seek his lost love after 200 years is appealing, as are the gorgeous sets and costumes, but the film itself drags.
Not enough humor. If only the entire film had been the "man out of time" plot, this would have been a return to form. Instead, it sinks into a tired gothic fable about lost love and redemption. The final act puts the nail in the coffin with new plot devices that were not even hinted at over the course of the film.
I've never watched the original Dark Shadows series so there's no comparison to be made, but as a movie it works well to be an entertaining dark comedy with plenty of quotes to be remembered, a suitable soundtrack and Eva Green. Oh Eva Green...
2 1/2 stars out of 5. I didn't mind this movie for the most part and oddly enough I didn't want to strangle Johnny Depp. The soundtrack is mostly good music being misused in a gimmicky way. Dark Shadows looks like a fight between the horror and comedy genres battling for a movie's eternal soul. It looks overtly phony like a Peter Jackson movie and the story turns to pure shit in the last 15 minutes.