Dark Shadows

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Dark Shadows has all the elements of what could have been a great film – period costumes, atmospheric sets, music from the 1970s – but somehow, it does not quite reach its full potential.
Set in 1752, the Collins family sailed to America to start a new life but were beset by a mysterious curse. After spurning the affections of the witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) finds himself turned into a vampire and buried alive. Two centuries later, he is freed from his tomb and this is where the movie goes downhill.
In the hands of Tim Burton, this classic American gothic soap opera series with offbeat supernatural characters is turned into a highly predictable film with cheesy lines and hardly any surprises.
The plot appears to be a mishmash of subplots; barely held together by the performance of the actors. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Barnabas, the 200-year old vampire in search of his lost love, is decent at best.
Aussie favourite, Bella Heathcote gets her minute of Hollywood limelight in this film. Playing the role of Barnabas’s beloved Victoria Winters/Josette DuPres, she’s merely a pretty face that pops in and out of scenes. It also seemed like Helena Bonham Carter, who takes on the role of Dr. Julia Hoffman, was brought onto the project just to spend more time with her husband (Burton).
Of all the actors, only Michelle Pfeiffer who played Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (the matriarch of the family) manages bring in some of the gothic essence of the original series.
One would have expected Tim Burton to do a better job with the film being a fan of the original series.
With so much material to play with, we are left heartbroken like Angelique Bouchard by this less-than-impressive shadow of the original television series.
Dark Shadows? Stay at home and turn on the television instead.


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