Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Moretz, Johnny Lee Miller
Director: Tim Burton
Dark Shadows marks the eighth collaboration between Tim Burton and Oscar nominated actor Johnny Depp, the first since their billion dollar hit Alice In Wonderland back in 2010.
The movie is a big screen take on the sixties TV series Dark Shadows and sees Depp take on the role of Barnabus Collins.
Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green).
A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin.
The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harbouring their own dark secrets.
The main problem that I have with Dark Shadows is the movie has no real identity and you get the feeling that Tim Burton didn’t really know what type of movie he was making.
The film is no where near funny enough to be called a comedy, but there are a few good moments, and it’s not where near scary enough to fall into the horror category it just sort of languishes between the two - which is a real disappointment.
Dark Shadows is a mix of horror, romance, teen angst, rivalry, family loyalty that it just gets bogged down in all of the different elements that the story really does lose its way.
However what I will say is that the movie looks fantastic, which is something that we have come to expect from Burton over they years,
There is a real gothic feel to the movie in some places and the likes of Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Helena Bonham carter and Michelle Pfeiffer do look fantastic.
Depp is the major saving grace of the movie as this is another flamboyant and off the wall role or him, something that he does so perfectly.
Barnabus is an old fashioned vampire who finds himself stuck in the seventies but he brings some very charming beliefs with him; the importance of family and how you can’t achieve anything without hard work.
The clash of the old and the new works really well as the Collins family take Barnabus in and help him find a new place in the world while Barnabus has a few things to teach them.
But sadly all the best bits of the movie really were put in the trailer and it doesn’t even come to close to living up to the very high expectations that everyone had for it.
This movie really should have played to Burton’s strengths as gothic horror really has been his forte over the years but Dark Shadows really falls way short of what we have come to expect from this director in this genre.
Dark Shadows is out now
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw