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Shown only in the 2005 Dark Shadows festival in Los Angeles, this remake of the 1960's Gothic day time series - yes, a Gothic soap and a deserved classic! - is surprisingly good. Sets of the Collinwood manor and the mausoleum where the vampire Barnabas Collins is found are wonderful and very atmospheric, so is the idea of using Halloween as the night when the story is opening. Alexis Thorpe has a striking screen presence and I would have loved to see her in a much more prominent role. She would have made lovely Victoria Winters! Cast of the young models like Asian Julia Hoffman (Kelly Hu) is never more than OK and will probably be too much to the fans of the original, but I loved the Gothic atmosphere. And I mean Gothic, not Goth, thank you! Little rough around the edges - hey, it was a rough cut! - this is a gem I would love to own in DVD.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anyone who knows and loves the original and the 1991 revival will
cringe at this travesty, shown only at conventions and festivals.
This was clearly produced for the "Scream" audience, without regard for the Gothic heritage of the stories that made up the original's various chapters. The treatment of Angelique was egregiously bad. The casting of Alec Newman as Barnabas might have worked if this were being produced now; he wasn't mature enough at the time of this production although he appeared to understand the character.
If anyone ever considers making a new TV series, they should realize that its original atmosphere and stellar cast were what made it work despite the stagey acting style and the continuity errors.
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