Vampire Barnabas Collins is accidentally released from his centuries-long confinement at his family's estate in Maine. He targets his clueless descendants who live there now and pursues Maggie, the incarnation of his lost love.
Young David Collins has gone missing from his home on the Collinwood Estate. While others try to find him - he in reality playing a prank in just hiding - incidents occur not only on the estate but in town, where some have been victimized by some unknown creature who has left a pair of puncture wounds in their neck. Those that have not survived have literally been drained of their blood by the creature. Following the start of these incidents, a long lost relative of the Collins from England, Barnabas Collins, arrives at the estate, the rest of the family knowing he being who he says he is by the uncanny resemblance to his namesake, who lived approximately one century ago and whose portrait hangs in the main house. Barnabas decides to stay in fixing up the old house on the estate with the help of Willie Loomis, who had just been fired by the family patriarch, Roger Collins. Barnabas' decision is strengthened when he finds a reason to stay in being able to complete something he was ...Written by
This feature film adaptation of the popular Gothic soap opera recounts the resurrection of vampire Barnabas Collins(convincingly played by Jonathan Frid) who passes himself as a visiting cousin from England
The film features a number of the series regulars repeating their original TV roles, and there are several recycled plot elements from the show that come in handy for the movie. But producer/director Dan Curtis(the creator of the original series), knows the drastic difference between a daytime TV soap opera and a feature film, and uses this knowledge to create a striking, entertaining picture. Unlike an episodic TV series, the film doesn't allow the suspense to lag at a snail's pace, but actually builds suspense from the opening scene and never lets up! The performances by the multi-talented cast are truly wonderful, though star Joan Bennett(one of my most favorite characters on the show), doesn't get as much screen time as I would have liked. This is probably due to the fact that the film was cut by some twenty minutes before being released. But even in its truncated form, HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS remains one of the greatest vampire/horror flicks of its time.
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