Dark Shadows. FILM ONLY Review.Dark Shadows is a film I have been looking forward to seeing and following the constant hints to my partner we finally took a trip to the cinema on Sunday evening to fulfil my wishes... in other words... to shut me up! I will try not to give away any details but forgive me if I do as it is hard to give you an idea of this film without giving away a couple of little bits.
The FilmDirected by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows begins with an introduction to a young Barnabas the Collins' family in the 1760's. In search of a better future the Collins' family move from Liverpool to the US to set up home in the form of the huge Collins Manor and their own fishing business. They soon become the most well known and well respected families and soon progress with turning the small fishing village they had first arrived at into a lively and thriving fishing town, now known as Collinsport. As Barnabas matures he has a brief romance with a local towns girl, Angelique, played by Eva Green. Angelique is in love with Barnabas, however when this love is unrequited Angelique puts a curse upon the Collins' family and as a result of this Barnabas' parents are killed in an "accident" while out walking the family dog. When Barnabas meets his true love she is also "tragically" taken from him. From this it will come as no surprise that Angelique is a witch and wants Barnabas to suffer for an eternity. So, she transforms him into a vampire with eternal life. Angelique however doesn't stop here and after turning the whole town against Barnabas he is captured and buried alive in a coffin wrapped in chains.
Fast forward now to 1972 and a scene of a construction site. While carrying out some deep excavations the coffin is unearthed, Barnabas is once again free and this is where the main setting for the film really begins.
Wondering around town the film presents a few comical moments of Barnabas meeting the new wonders of the world, including the large "M" sign of Mc Donald's lit up in the dark of the night. Being buried for nearly 200 years and having to adjust to the modern world is possibly the real humour point of this film and I did find myself giggling away at these moments.
Eventually, Barnabas returns to his former home and meets his distant relatives. Almost 200 years since Barnabas' burial the Collins family are still living in Collinsport although times really have changed as they are now one of the most hated families in the town and all of their wealth is almost gone. The Collins family is much smaller and the manor is only inhabited by a few people including, Elizabeth Collins, the step mother, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Carolyn, the daughter of Elizabeth and typical teenager, the young David Collins who's mother tragically died and he now believes talks to him from beyond the grave. Roger Collins is David's father, albeit useless and more interested in playing away than his sons own welfare, with this in mind you are also introduced to Dr. Hoffman, Davids' live in and slightly alcoholic doctor who was originally hired to help David cope with the death of his mother but now lives in the manor as almost a part of the family. Victoria Winters is the newest addition to the household, being hired as Davids governess we are given an introduction to Victoria and her arrival in Collinsport in amongst all of the humour of Barnabas discovering his new surroundings.
Amazingly, Victoria just happens to be the spitting image of Barnabas' true love, Josette, who was cruelly taken from him all those years ago. This is quite obviously the base for some more humour as Barnabas embarks on a mission to woo his love once more, but will this also end in tragedy? For what is the reason for the demise of the Collins' fortune?
Enter Angie! Angie is a young blonde woman with a nice sports car who now almost runs the town with her own fishing business, a family fishing business which has almost put the Collins out of business. Does the name sound familiar? Angie... Angelique. Also living an eternal life and still hell bent on destroying the Collins' family, this certainly is a woman scorned!
Following the return of Barnabas, Elizabeth Collins is initially reserved about the safety of Barnabas, yet she allows him to stay with almost no debating the matter. Barnabas then makes it his goal to restore the family's fishing business along with their reputation and wealth. As you can imagine with Angie, who will stop at nothing in her quest to destroy the Collins' name this provides for some rather entertaining, yet sometimes pointless scenes between the two.
My OpinionI found this movie to be rather entertaining in the "silly humour" department and from the laughter in the cinema I think quite a few others did too. However for me, I felt as if the film started off with a good strong storyline which just got weaker towards the end and made for a rather a poor and quite possibly cheesy ending. I felt a few scenes were pointless, I can't say which as it will spoil the film, my concentration did lapse a couple of times but it was brought back really quickly with the silly humour.
The acting was good and I felt as though all of the parts were portrayed really well and as realistic as can be with the given subject of the film. My favourite character in Dark Shadows was Barnabas himself. I'm a bit of a hit and miss fan of Johnny Depp and sometimes cannot stand him, however in this film I found him entertaining without being too over the top. Despite my grumbles about this film not being as good as I had hoped I still found myself enjoying the film and I would watch it again.
I do recommend this film, however if you're not 100% sure it is your thing then maybe wait until it is on TV or available to rent rather than spend your hard earned pennies at the cinema!
Thanks for reading! :)
Cast ListBarnabas Collins - Johnny Depp
Angelique - Eva Green
Elizabeth Collins - Michelle Pfeiffer
Roger Collins - Jonny Lee Miller
Carolyn - Chloe Mortez
David Collins - Gulliver McGrath
Dr. Hoffman - Helena Carter
Victoria and Josette - Bella Heathcote