Dark Shadows is a gothic tale based on a soap opera that was aired in 1966-1971 and sees imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins [Jonny Depp] of a wealthy family, set free to return and protect his dysfunctional descendants.
Dark Shadows is a another weird and wonderful creation by Tim Burton that is a cocktail mix of horror, fantasy and comedy and features another oddball performance by Jonny Depp.
Jonny Depp and Tim Burton join forces yet again and work effortlessly again on this project as they have created another eye popping, weird and wonderful spectacle. Jonny Depp and brilliant as Barnabas Collins, the vampire who is cursed by a witch Angelica Bouchard [Eva Green] and imprisoned and brings his usual combination of comedy and vulnerability to the role as he has created another one of his weird characters.
Helena Bonham Carter, a Tim Burton regular stars as the family doctor, Dr. Julia Hoffman who has secrets of her own. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Elizabeth Collins, the matriarch of the family. There is also “Kick-Ass” and “Let Me In” star, Chloe Grace Mortez as rebellious daughter, Carolyn and makes a great impression for a small role. There is even a small cameo from Christopher Lee.
Dark Shadows main pleasure and sometimes confussion is that it plays with genres as it often shits gear from being a light family comedy and tuning into a horror quickly and catching you off guard as the film features some moments that may be unsuitable for younger viewers, especially a raunchy sex scene between Barnabas and witch Angelica Bouchard.
The other main delight about Dark Shadows is the set pieces, including the house where the family stay which acts as an entire character on its own and features enough trap doors and secret tunnels that would even give Indiana Jones a run for his money. There are also great special effects in particular some of the transformation scenes and particularly the house in which case plays out something out of the “Amityville Horror” films.
Even though the film has a star studded cast and a great director behind them, the film feels a bit confused as it can’t quite decide what it wants to be, comedy, fantasy, horror or even a romance? And this certainly isn’t one for younger viewers given a 12 A certificate, as it contains some scenes that would usually be featured in a 15 certified film.
Overall, Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, is a strange enjoyable romp while it lasts and features another great and often mad central performance by Jonny Depp. It features a great supporting cast and is a mixture of “The Addams Family”, “Corpse Bride” and “Sweeny Todd” all rolled into one.