I just got back from seeing the new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration “Dark Shadows” and the best word I have to describe it is… different.
The basic premise of the movie is a family in Maine who becomes cursed by a scorned witch. One of the founding members of the family, Barnabas Collins, is turned into a vampire and buried in an iron box in the 1770s. Almost two hundred years later, he is released by construction workers digging the foundation for a McDonald’s. Barnabas Collins returns to his family’s manor, now in disrepair, and to the remains of his family tree. Together they rebuild the mansion and the family business, much to the dismay of the immortal witch who has worked for the past two hundred years to destroy the family that scorned her.
As a disclaimer before I continue, I’m not a fan of Tim Burton. I feel that he tends to ruin everything he touches. “Sleepy Hollow” is pretty much the only movie of his that I will consent to watch on anything bordering on a regular basis (Halloween). So, my thoughts on this movie are, of course, subject to this bias.
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. After having seen the previews and reading some articles about it online, I went into the theater thinking it would be a trainwreck. It wasn’t quite that bad. In fact, in several parts it was entirely entertaining. And if you’re a fan of either Tim Burton or Johnny Depp, I imagine you will enjoy it. However, for everyone else, I would recommend you skip the theater and wait for it to hit Redbox. Unless you live in a tiny town with nothing else to do on a Saturday night that doesn’t include shoe rental or booze, like me.
My biggest beef with the movie was that the ending was entirely anticlimactic, made little sense, and teetered on the edge of utter boredom. The plot resolved somewhat but I certainly wasn’t left wanting more. Though I do now want to see the original soap opera the movie was (by some accounts loosely) based.
So, all in all, I’d give it 2.5 stars out of 5. It wasn’t terrible but I certainly won’t be buying the DVD when it comes out, even if I run across it in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart (which is saying something). But, if you have nothing else to do and you like movie theater popcorn, there are worse movies you could see. A warning, however, that there are very mature themes broached, so children under age 10 should probably be left at home.
Have a good night!