Let me begin by saying that TIM BURTON..is his own worst enemy. I consider his early films, BEETLEJUICE, PEE WEES BIG ADVENTURE, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS etc..some of my favorites. One of the things I loved about them is they didn’t look like big budget expensive FX filled flicks.
As the years go by, and his allowance of budget has grown in Hollywood, I believe that creativity has suffered in CGI and reinvention. Although they are all visually stunning..they seem pushed out of a Tim Burton knock off factory. Tim Burton (and Johnny Depp quite frankly) are capable of WAY better.
NOW…let’s move on to DARK SHADOWS which I will say is at least, far better than the last three or four films Burton has released. I had no prejudice or expectations about DARK SHADOWS whether it was a comedy or a serious take on the original..as long as I was entertained and it was fun. I think it was..but not sure it’s for everyone.
Johnny Depp ‘s white makeup..(although I wasn’t thrilled about it)..was very cool looking in the film. I have to give Depp credit too, I thought this would be another cake walk of a role he’s played too many times ..but he was very funny. The best scenes in the film are the ones that feature the rest of the Collin’s family: Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz, Johnny Lee Miller, and Burtons Wife Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Hoffman. Jackie Early Haley (Nightmare on Elm Street’s FREDDY in the remake) is also humorous as Willy the drunk groundskeeper and Eva Green (with a evil toothy grin) is the villainess ANGELIQUE who turned Barnabus into a vampire . Newcomer Bella Heathcoate is Victoria Winters, Depp’s love interest.
The sets, from the seaside town of Collinsport ,Maine to Collinwood manor were very cool to look at, and the interior of the house and amazing costumes have classic Burton style. The film definitely could’ve been better and I wasn’t crazy about one turn a character takes towards the end of the film..but frankly I was glad it wasn’t awful and I think it’s probably going to do well. I did laugh several times during it, and the crowd seemed genuinely happy at the end.
I’ve included two clips from the film that may help you decide if DARK SHADOWS is for you. One features the Collins Family and Barnabus, the other Barnabus and Chloe Moretz ..who I LOVED in KICK ASS.