Dark Shadows an Hour Too Long

By Albert Angulo

Sometimes you have a pretty strong feeling about a movie before you see it, and my movie radar was going off like mad when I watched the trailers for “Dark Shadows.” This is the latest Johnny Depp/Tim Burton collaboration that re-imagines the 1960s TV camp soap opera.

Depp plays Barnabus Collins, a man who was alive in the 1700s. He was in love with a woman named Josette (Bella Heathcote) but had a dalliance with a maid named Angelique (Eva Green). Angelique got her revenge by having Josette jump off a cliff and by turning Barnabus into a vampire. She could do these things because she was a witch. Then she added insult to injury by having the townspeople bury Barnabus alive.

The movie does have some comic moments, but they are not enough to bring this movie to life. It all plays out like a joke in which only director Tim Burton and star Johnny Depp are in on the humor. They seem to be enjoying it immensely, but the audience and most of the cast are scratching their heads and trying to figure it all out.

This movie even made me do something I never do during a movie: I actually checked the time on my watch because I was so eager for it to be over. I just couldn’t wait for it to end, so I guess you could say that the Dark Shadows overcame Depp’s work this time.

One Response to "Dark Shadows an Hour Too Long"

  1. Andrew Bayuk   May 24, 2012 at 4:45 am

    I enjoyed the film. Having seen all the remakes it took a fresh approach. Sure, there were holes in the plot, but the original series had its own holes. And there was weak character development in several of the main characters,one example…Willie Loomis. Another was certainly Mrs. Johnson (who was unceremoniously left out of the scene where they fled the burning house. Perhaps she was still dusting). Also, the “cameo appearance” by some of the original cast members was extremely unsatisfying and they excluded some notables who are still around, including John Karlen, who played, ironically …Willie Loomis.

    Regardless of the reaction to the movie, Barnabas Collins is a fascinating character, very different from the many other vampires. He enters the original as a virtual monster & is able to win the sympathy/eventually the full support of the audience as the hero. This transformation inspired me to write a song, “Barnabas Collins”. If you’re a fan of the original series, appreciate how my song actually captures the original spirit of Barnabas. It’s here:

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