dark shadows


With Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jonny Lee Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Bella Heathcote, Christopher Lee, Alice Cooper

Written by Seth Grahame-Smith & John August (based on the TV series by Dan Curtis)

Directed by Tim Burton

The king of strange adds his Gothic eye to another Depp team-up. Having never seen the (mid-'60s) TV show on which it's based, it may have lost some of its back-story appeal, but on the whole the comedic slant didn't sit too well for me. Burton is known for his humour, sure, but it just seemed a touch hammed in this tale of a trapped vampire unleashed in the modern '70s (the silly fish-out-of-water routine expected). In 1757, after being cursed by Angelique (a servant and spurned lover), wealthy son Barnabas Collins is turned into a vampire and trapped in a coffin.
Two hundred years later construction dislodges the coffin and he is free. So he heads back to the family estate at Collinwood Manor. Here he encounters his 1972 descendants, down on their luck with the mansion in disrepair and enough dysfunction to go around (to require a live-in shrink). A foe from the past however has made a point of bankrupting the Collins family, so it is up to Barnabas to stand by his mortal kin and return them to their rightful place of importance in the Maine coastal town. A whole lot of fun, but even though it has some bloody moments, I'd love to have seen it without the silly comedy.

At times Jack Sparrow filters through Depp's portrayal of Barnabas, while the sumptuous Pfeiffer is what milf dreams are made of (and its great to see her on screen again). Bonham Carter never disappoints, here as the boozing psychiatrist. Since Trainspotting I haven't seen Jonny Lee Miller in much, but Hammer Horror fans will relish Christopher Lee's cameo (albeit as a fisherman). Rock legend Alice Cooper plays himself in an extensive performance scene wrapped around his classic epic song Ballad Of Dwight Fry. Other '70s soundtrack tunes including The Moody Blues, Iggy Pop, T. Rex, The Carpenters and a Barry White song as backing for the dumbest scene in the movie of a furniture destroying vampire sex scene. Obviously Danny Elfman supplies signature score music.

3 / B
- Paul Blom

0 1 2 3 4 5 6
- A - B - C

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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