Dark Shadows
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Dark Shadows can be found here.

Cursed and entombed in 1776 by Angelique Brouchard (Eva Green), a witch he spurned for the love of another, vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) escapes his coffin two centuries later and returns to his beloved home, Collinwood Manor, and to what remains of his descendents -- matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer), Elizabeth's ne'er-do-well brother Roger (Jonny Lee Miller), her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn (Chloë Grace Moretz), and Roger's 10-year old son David (Gulliver McGrath), along with caretaker Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley), elderly housekeeper Mrs Johnson (Ray Shirley), David's nanny Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote), and David's psychiatrist Dr Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) -- only to find that the Collins' fortune has dwindled and the once thriving town of Collinsport has been taken over by his accursed enemy, now calling herself Angie. As Barnabas acclimates himself to the year 1972, he seeks to defeat Angie, to restore the Collins' fortune and good name, to find an end to his curse, and to find love with Victoria, who is the image of his previous love, Josette.

Dark Shadows is based on the television soap opera 'Dark Shadows' (1966-1971). The screenplay for the movie was developed by American screenwriters Seth Grahame-Smith and John August. Paperback Library published a successful series of Gothic-themed novels based on Dark Shadows in 1966. The 32 novels, plus the novelization of the film House of Dark Shadows (1970), were written by Canadian author Dan Ross, using the pen name Marilyn Ross. The paperbacks are currently out of print.

At the movie's onset, Barnabas describes how his family came to Maine from Liverpool in 1760 in order to expand the family business. They built up a fishing business and the town that surrounded it, which was named after them Collinsport. When he spurned one of the family's servants who just happened to be a witch, she cursed him and his family, first killing his parents and then causing his true love to commit suicide by jumping off Widow's Hill. Barnabas jumped off the peak after her, but he did not die, for the witch had cursed him into becoming a vampire so that his suffering would never end. Still filled with spite, she then convinced the town that Barnabas was a monster. They were the ones that entombed him in a coffin and buried him alive for all time.

It was shot at Pinewood Studios in England. Exterior shots were filmed at Beckenham Park.

Alice Cooper appears as the entertainment for the party thrown for the townspeople performing a rendition of "No More Mr. Nice Guy".

How does the movie end?

After being freed from his coffin by David, Barnabas returns to Collinwood just as Angie, the sheriff, and the angry mobs arrive. When the sheriff atries to arrest the Collinses for harboring a murder, Barnabas offers to give himself up peacefully on the condition that his family isn't harmed and that Angie goes with him, exposing her as a witch by goading her into attacking him. Angered beyond all get-out, Angelique follows Barnabas into the house and continues here attack. Also angered by Angelique's attack on Barnabas, the Collins clan bands together to drive her away Willie with an ane, Elizabeth with a shotgun, Carolyn as a werewolf. Still, Angelique continues her attack, setting parts of the house on fire as she goes, until David finally summons the spirit of his mother who hurls Angelique into the huge crystal chandelier. As the others flee the burning house, Barnabas stays behind to confess to Angelique that there was a time when he could have loved her but she could never love anyone. 'That is your curse,' he tells her. To prove him wrong, Angie tears her beating heart out of her chest and hands it to him before she dies. Barnabas goes looking for Victoria, but David tells him that his mother says Victoria is headed for Widow's Hill. He goes after her, but she points out that they can never be together because she lives in the light and he in the shadows. She asks him to turn her into a vampire, too, but he refuses. So, she jumps. Barnabas jumps after her, biting her neck on the way down. They both survive the fall and, when Victoria opens her eyes, she refers to herself as Josette. In a voice-over, Barnabas says, 'It is said that blood is thicker than water. It is what defines us, binds us, curses us. My name is Barnabas Collins, and my curse has finally been broken.' In the final scene, the camera pans to the bottom of the sea where it shows the body of Julia Hoffman reanimating.

Are there any trailers?

Yes. The first one was released March 15, 2012. You can watch it here. An alternate trailer consisting of scenes with Alice Cooper can be watched here.

(1) Superfly by Curtis Mayfield, (2) Bang a Gong (Get It On) by T.Rex, and (3) My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White.

The overall tone of the series was serious and melodramatic, in the style of 19th century Gothic horror and romance literature. Due to the low budget, hectic daily production schedule, and the fact that the network would rarely allow for second takes (effectively making the show "live"), there are unintentionally funny moments when actors forget or flub lines, sets fall apart, or crew members accidentally step into frame, sneeze, cough, etc.. The over the top soap opera acting and dialog, combined with occasional plot holes, did lend a certain degree of campiness to the series.

"Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues. The complete list of songs can be found here with corresponding scene descriptions.

Dark Shadows will mark their eighth collaboration, the other seven being Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Corpse Bride (2005), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), and Alice in Wonderland (2010).

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