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Love theme, story, but execution falls flat
MR_Heraclius23 February 2020
Dark Shadows offers stunning visuals, a delightfully dark atmosphere, quirky humor, and a talented cast in spite of an inconsistent story and a lack of narrative focus
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Empty Darkness
billygoat107110 May 2012
Tim Burton is probably one of the best choices to direct a Dark Shadows movie. He's always good at making Dark, Gothic films and everyone's expecting it to be something like Sweeney Todd and Sleepy Hollow. Instead, it has a hybrid of Corpse Bride and Beetlejuice. It begins with decent gloominess but the rest is scattered with groovy soundtrack and colorful images. But that may not be the problem. It's actually pretty good at recapturing the 70's. The main problem is the plot development. It's fun but also disappointing.

It looks promising in the beginning. Tim Burton uses his campy directing style which made the intro intriguing. It get silly when Barnabas returns from his grave. Exploring the changes of his town. It's quite funny and delightful. There's a good character development in this that made it entertaining. Johnny Depp gives a delightful performance as Barnabas Collins. Eva Green is quite menacing as Angelique. Jackie Earle Haley and Helena Bonham Carter are the extra comic relief. Chloë Moretz is always good at bad girl roles.

There's a lot of fun going on, but in the end, the experience feels like something's missing. It could have been an interesting story but it ends pretty lazy. There are couple of senseless twists that aren't consistent. At least there is something good in the filmmaking. The production design is quite decent and sometimes unlikely colorful. Postmodern music are played often which made Danny Elfman's music score hard to notice. But these merits can't fix the film's storytelling.

Dark Shadows is undeniably entertaining and nothing else. There are things that could have been better. I don't think the colorful groovy look is the problem. It just needs a better ending that gives consistency to the story. People can still give it a try for its camp. There's a true vampire here that is nothing like our modern vampires. Dark Shadows is not bad. It's just unsatisfying. It has the color, life, and all but what's missing is a proper plot development.
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one of the best of the Hollywood re-imaginings...
A_Different_Drummer10 January 2017
Lets be frank. If you had a dime for every time Hollywood took something dusty and old, and tried to turn it into something shiny and new, you could retire.

In fact, most of these attempts barely work. But (having seen this one front to back three times since its first release) I believe this is an exception and moreover I believe that viewers have become so jaded to these attempts that they instinctively rebelled against the film (hence the low rating) without even giving it a chance.

The script by Seth Grahame-Smith is witty and clever and engaging. And wonderfully demented. The cast is to die for. Eva Green and Johnny Depp are at the peak of their craft, delivering with a straight face bits of dialog that lesser actors would choke on. The supporting cast (almost all A-list with a young Chloë Grace Moretz) is rock solid.

Overall a delightfully deranged yet still entertaining exercise in being silly -- which is exactly what Hollywood aims for in these odd exercises.

The IMDb rating is much too low. Give it another chance.
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Surpassed My Expectations
rannynm29 October 2012
The film Dark Shadows opened to an eagerly awaiting audience of both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp fans. Based on the ABC daytime show which aired during the late 1960s which generated a cult following, what was taken seriously in the late 60s / early 70s comes across as comedy today. The majority of the movie is set in 1972 and incorporates music from the Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin) with appearances by Karen Carpenter in a TV scene, a cameo appearance by Alice Cooper and appearances by four of the original Dark Shadows actors including Jonathan Frid who passed away shortly after filming. Rated PG-13 for comic horror violence, sexual content , drug use, language and smoking, one of our 14-year-old critics, Raven Devanney rated it 6 out of 5 stars for ages 13 and up. Here's her take: Dark Shadows Reviewed by Raven Devanney http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2NE6UPSLcM Dark Shadows is a hilarious movie about a man named Barnibus Collins, who is cursed by an evil witch when he refuses to give her his love. Turned into a vampire, Barnibus is locked away in a coffin for two centuries. Now, freed by unsuspecting construction workers, Barnibus finds that his home town of Collins Port has drastically changed. He must learn to fit into the 70s while protecting his family, restoring Collins Port to its former glory and riding himself of the evil witch, Angelique, who cursed him to be a creature forced to hide in dark shadows. I absolutely loved this movie. Johnny Depp, who plays Barnibus Collins, did fantastic! Johnny is one of my all time favorite actors and when he teams up with director Tim Burton, you know it's a film worth seeing. The cinematography was great because of the gloominess that you will often find in Tim Burton's films, but they found a flawless way to thrown in the bright colors of the 70's. The special effects were great too, especially in the end when Angelique's skin started to crack; she really looked as if she was made out of porcelain. Something that did bother me about the visuals was that the blood in the film looked way to fake considering that it is a vampire movie. My favorite character would have to be that daughter of the Collins family played by Chloe Moretz. One; she is my favorite young actress, two; she played a moody, mellow dramatic, angsty teenager perfectly. The acting in this film was priceless because there was a lot of over- acting, but not in a cheesy way, it was done very purposefully and it gave a wonderful comedic feel to dramatic situations. I suggest this film for ages 13 and up because of sexual situations, mild drug use and language. I would give this film 6 out of 5 stars because it far surpassed my expectations!
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DULL with little bite. Depp is playing dress up
cliffcarson-111 May 2012
Oh the possibilities that were missed here. Except for the character names and a similar architecture in the house this film bares very little resemblance to DARK SHADOWS. The movie starts out beautifully and then goes off in so many awkward directions that it never finds what kind of movie it's trying to be. A few scattered laughs here and there do not compensate for a poorly conceived story that meanders itself to the point of being dull and confusing. What can you say about a movie that only comes to life in it's montages set to a pop songs from the early 1970's? Depp doesn't even attempt to capture any of the guilt ridden angst of Barnabas Collins. His Barnabas is a trick or treat Pirates of the Caribbean, very much like a kid playing dress up on Halloween and with two emotions, upset and more upset. Film has some nice set pieces but Burton doesn't bring any true Gothic feeling or sense of dread to the surroundings. The script has that throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks feel to it. Burtons direction comes off in a conveyor belt "okay, let's shoot this one" tone with interest only in visuals, which are striking. He's really more of a visual artist than he is a film director. Indeed, one gets the feeling that this film would never have been made if not for Johnny Depp and his love for the original series which is evident here. It's unfortunate that he relies too heavily on make up to carry his performance. Helean Bonham Carter has no interest in being in the film and it shows, doing it only as a favor to her husband. Eva Green is the type of actress Tim Burton is attracted to and loves to cast in his films, but she possesses little of Angelique's spellbinding jealousy. The only one in the cast that has a hint of what these surroundings should be played like is Michelle Pfeiffer. She is the Grande dame of Dark Shadows capturing both the Gothic feel of the original story and the magnificence of the character.
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Formula for a great movie? Tim Burton+Johnny Depp+Helena Bonham Carter+Michelle Pfeiffer = Terrific movie.
fredericksmith19523 June 2012
Now, I grant you, I was not an avid viewer of the adventures of Barnabas Collins in the 60's, although apparently every girl in my high school was. But I doubt that melodramatic soap had much relation to the film I saw, other than the names of the characters and the ever present scene of the waves crashing upon rocks on the New England shoreline.

Small matter. The film I watched was funny, spooky in a predictable sort of way, and the story was fresh. Depp once again creates a strange and unusual persona as Barnabas Collins, at once both the vicious, blood thirsty vampire and the refined gentleman of the 16th century. There are so many elements combined, the jeweled necklace reminiscent of Bela Lugosi's Dracula, the darkened eyes, the long claws of the Nosferatu, and Depp's uncanny ability to pull all these elements together to give us a comedic and enjoyable character we cannot help but like. Michelle Pfeiffer was an excellent choice as the current head of the family, a sturdy, refined and resilient woman determined to hold her head up despite the fallen state of the once powerful Collins family. Eva Green as Angelique is marvelous in her role as the evil yet business savvy woman whose only goal in life is the continuing destruction of the Collins family and reputation. The children, played perfectly by Chloe Grace Moretz and Gulliver McGrath, present the internal conflicts of the Collins, Carolyn who comes off as a very typical teenager, and David, who speaks frequently with his dead mother. Bella Heathcote, who portrays both Victoria in the present and Josette in the past, is also an excellent actress, and gives us just enough weird to balance the prim and proper appearance she first presents.

Of particular note is Helena Bonham Carter and her role as the doctor. The blatant comic relief she provides once again demonstrates her ability and depth as an actress, and one can easily see why Burton and Depp apparently enjoy working with this talented lady.

Overall, the film grabs your attention and keeps it throughout. The dialog is entertaining to the extreme, and the photography and cinematography is exceptional, as one would expect of anything from Mr. Burton.

Rated PG-13 due to the language and violence, as well as several references to sexual situations, I think this film will add nicely to any collector of the trio's work. I have one on order as soon as they are released.
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Awesome Movie
shadow-372-84072416 May 2012
*This Review Contains Spoilers*

I'll start with this, I've read some of the critic and user reviews and most of them don't give the movie Dark Shadows a good name. I am a user and I want to set the record straight! If you like vampires that aren't all that scary then see the movie. If you're a fan of Johnny Depp or Tim Burton then see the movie. If you haven't seen the series then go see the movie. I only say don't see the movie if you have seen the series because, yeah, there is some parts to the movie that aren't all that great and if you like the series a lot then chances are you won't like th movie. I've never seen the series myself but my mother has.

Personally, my favorite part of the movie is when Barnabas dodges the green goo that the witch vomits and he says "Missed me" only to get hit right in the face with the green goo again.

I also like the movie because it's a lot funnier than people think. Some people just don't have that good of an imagination.
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Tired formula and a disappointing movie
wewatchedamovie111 May 2012
Let's leave it all at the door here. I loved Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, and Batman. Hated Batman Returns, Alice in Wonderland, and Willy Wonka. Could care less about Nightmare before Christmas and Sweeney Todd. Okay, so I'm not a Tim Burton hater. I'm not a huge Tim Burton fan. I think in this situation, I'm as close as you get to the average movie goer. No agenda, no attachments. That being said, this film is terrible. Burton spent so much effort and time worrying about making this film Gothic and off pace, stuffing his favorite actors into the film even though half of their parts were pointless, he forgot he was making a film. It's a simple and fun idea but it feels like ego and "showiness" kept them from making the plot even make sense. We get it Tim! You are weird! Don't ruin a good performance by Depp and a fun idea for a film because you have to live up to your own Gothic standards. Grow up. So much talent is wasted on these films having the same look, cast, and feel to them. Take that talent and make something fresh! Stretch yourself just a tad out of that Hot Topic comfort zone will ya? This movie was long, boring, and ruined. All of the funny scenes were in the trailer. By the way.... wasn't this supposed to be the 70's? Other than a shot or two of trees and a hippie van it was just like the set of Sweeney Todd. The whole film felt like London in the 40's. That's bad film making whether your name is Tim Burton or not.
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OK if you haven't seen the older versions
earlytalkie11 May 2012
I am a huge fan of the old Dark Shadows shows. I liked the old series, bloopers and all. I liked the films House of Dark Shadows and to a lesser degree Night of Dark Shadows. I liked the 1991 revival series of Dark Shadows. This new Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version has some good elements in it, like the costumes, soundtrack and special effects, but the problem here lies in the written word. The script relies too much on gags, some funny and some rather lame. The basic characters are mostly here with the exception of the melding of Maggie Evans into Victoria Winters, and the actor playing Willie Loomis does a better job with the character than did the one from the 1991 revival, who chose (or was directed) to play the role as a half-wit.(The one element I disliked about the revival). The 1970s music, cars, costumes and hairdos are spot-on and add to the comfy 1970s feel of the piece. The climax is all special effects and one "revelation" of the plot is so absurdly done here that it is (unintentionally) laughable. In all, I would say that this film may appeal more to those who never saw any of the original versions of this than the fans of them. I didn't hate this film, I just didn't love it either.
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Dark Shadows (2012)
SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain2 September 2012
I saw every Tim Burton film since Mars Attacks! at the cinema. Until this came along. I had had enough of Burton's subpar efforts over the years and Alice In Wonderland was his last chance as far as I was concerned. Finally saw this and I'm glad I waited. This is simply awful. Based on a soap opera, Burton doesn't seem to know what to do. It changes tone dramatically from obvious humour involving Depp's character waking up after 200 years of being buried and being confused by things such as television. To grisly kills where he takes out innocent victims. There are a whole cast of characters, each one is given their own story, but none of them are given enough time to develop. Miller, Carter, Heathcote are all wasted as are their stories. I didn't even get the point of Miller, which is a shame because he was great with what he had. Entire scenes have no place in the film, or are needlessly long and repetitive. The main plot seems to have Eva Green asking Depp to be hers and him rejecting her, over and over and over again. It really does feel like snippets from a soap opera condensed down. This is really just a clip show. By the end it starts pulling things out of its backside. Couldn't care for anybody in this film and think the original property should have just been left alone.
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Keep these two away from each other
peryteran29 May 2012
The film can't decide whether it's a fish-out-of-water comedy or a Gothic thriller/romance. Instead, we get treated to a bipolar movie that is, at times, really funny, but mostly full of unnecessary exposition. I think Burton wanted to honor the TV show by adding in so many details, but frankly, it was boring at times as they moved from one plot point to another. Some of the "wrap up" surprises at the end came off as forced. Though I'm glad they didn't rely on as much CGI to create the set pieces, one major scene involving a concert looked like it was stolen from the Austin Powers films.

Johnny Depp did some great physical comedy as well as Helena Bonham Carter and Jackie Earle Haley, but Dark Shadows should go back to the grave.
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Family Is the Only Real Wealth
claudio_carvalho6 October 2012
In 1760, the Collins family moves from Liverpool to the Maine to expand the family empire and dedicate to fishing business. One year later, they are successful and the city of Collinsport is raised in the place. Then, for fifteen years, Joshua and Naomi Collins build their Collinswood mansion. Their servant Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) has an unrequited love for their son Barnabas (Johnny Depp) that actually loves Josette DuPres (Bella Heathcote). But Angelique is a powerful witch that curses Barnabas and his family, killing his parents, Josette and turning him into a vampire. Then she brings the locals that lock him in a coffin and bury him for the eternity.

In 1972, the young Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) comes to the decadent Collinswood to be the tutor of the young David Collins (Gulliver McGrath), who lost his mother two years ago. She finds a dysfunctional family composed by the devoted matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) ahead of the family business that is near bankruptcy; her rebel daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Grace Moretz); her brother and David's father Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller); the psychiatrist Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) that takes car of David; and the servants Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) and Mrs. Johnson (Ray Shirley).

When eleven workers release and awake Barnabas, he drinks their blood and returns to Collinswood. He meets Elizabeth and she tells that the family has been cursed, and Barnabas shows a hidden room with a treasure in side and he promises to protect them and assume the business. When he sees Victoria, he rekindles his love for her. But the witch Angie is still alive and is prominent in the town and she has not forgotten Barnabas.

"Dark Shadows" is a film by Tim Burton that has a promising beginning but the development is lost between comedy and horror. As usual, the dark cinematography is awesome and the music score is spectacular, with hits from the 70's. This film is certainly not among the best films by Tim Burton, but is entertaining. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Sombras da Noite" ("Night Shadows")
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Will Suck the Life Out of You
cattjones11 May 2012
I guess I will start out by saying that I am a huge Johnny Depp fan and that I even like some of Tim Burton's works (Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas). However, that being said, I did not like this film all that much. If you are looking for some comedy in this film, then go and watch the trailer, because most of the funny parts are in it. I understand that this film was supposed to be a spoof of the soap opera that appeared in the 1970's, but it really fell short of my expectations. I remember being in elementary school and rushing home to see what was happening on Dark Shadows. In this film, not only did I not want to see what happens next, I really didn't care. Johnny Depp (Barnabas Collins) once again embraced his character and does a really fine job of making the character believable, but the content just wasn't there. I don't think that this film ever decided what it wanted to be when it grew up. There were elements of comedy, horror, drama and even a little romance. There was some jostling around in this film between Barnabas and Angelique (Eva Green), but you could almost sense the wires that the actors were tied to. And is it just me or does Bella Heathcote (Victoria Winters/Josette DuPres) look a little like Anne Hathaway? Victoria and David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) gave a whole new meaning to the phrase "I see dead people". I guess my favorite character in the film was Willie (Jackie Earle Haley) who was Barnabas' sidekick. He was fun to watch even though he did not have many lines (thank goodness). This film may end up sucking the life out of your expectations. By the time you get to the end of the film, things get downright silly and stupid. The last ten minutes of the film I kept thinking to myself ….. oh brother. Also at the end of the film there was almost a hint of a sequel; man I sure hope not. Not all of the Depp/Burton collaborations have been successful and this is one of them. If you just want to see Johnny Depp on the big screen, then by old means go. However I think that this film should be locked in a box (redbox). As sure as my blood is red, so is the light for this film.
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Burtons Dark Shadows....Always Look The Same
werefox0810 May 2012
After making a really bad Willy Wonka & and a quite terrible Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton ----Johnny Depp pairing presents us with the jackpot. A shockingly puerile Dark Shadows. Having interesting sets and lots of make up is not sufficient to make a good motion picture. The use of "humour" is awful....well worn jokes about the "fish out of water" theme, and other predictable nonsense & rubbish.....the weak, tired dialogue is simply not good enough. The central story (actually there is no perceptible central story !!) is so badly handled ....this may go down in history in the cult genre of "one of the worst movies of all time". This really is Ghastly Gothic Garbage. Tim Burton always gives us lots of heavily made up actors, bad scripts and good looking sets. However, these things become tiresome after a while ....even the Tim Buton "fans" must see this as a very impotent movie. Take a holiday Mr. Burton. Come back when you have a new idea. We have seen all of this before.
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alanbittencourtx13 May 2012
I love Johnny Depp and I love Tim Burton. Together they can be sublime. Look at "Ed Wood" and "Sweeney Todd" Here, well here they seem kind of lost. Everything is in over the top tones without getting to the root of anything. The performances are shrill and disconnected with the exception of the wonderful Helena Bonham Carter. The script is underwritten and the story is tired and unconvincing but in the present film going landscape it is more enjoyable than most others. I'm tempted to advise Mr. Burton and Mr.Depp to be a bit more daring in their intentions. We're all aware of Burton's visual wizardry and of Depp's remarkable beauty and talent, why not put all that at the service of something meaningful?
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Hugely disappointing compared to the classic TV show, and is hugely problematic as a standalone film
TheLittleSongbird5 June 2016
While it had a bit of a slow start, with technical limitations being obvious and the characters not being as interesting, from the moment it switched to colour and introduced its most iconic character Barnabas Collins (unforgettably played by Jonathan Frid) the 1966 'Dark Shadows' is a classic.

It is easy to see why it was so popular back in its day, and it is equally easy to see why it is remembered so fondly now. Despite its flaws (which were forgivable in a way), this reviewer spent many days and hours watching it with sheer joy, it really helping me get through many stressful and mentally straining times this year at music college (though there were many great times too, and saw a huge progression and several seemingly impossible achievements).

Sadly, this 2012 film version of 'Dark Shadows' was hugely disappointing. As an adaptation of the show, it just doesn't compare and understandably can (and has been) be seen as a travesty to die-hard fans. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp apparently claim to be fans of 'Dark Shadows', but to me that wasn't obvious at all. There was more of a sense that Burton hadn't even seen the show, seeing as the tone and spirit feels completely wrong, or he thought he could improve upon it.

On its own as a film, it has its good points but several major flaws that to be honest for this reviewer were more obvious. It is a shame as I am a fan of Burton's 80s and 90s stuff, especially 'Edward Scissorhands' and 'Ed Wood' which are two of my all-time favourites, but after his career low-point 'Planet of the Apes' he became hit-and-miss. While it is better than 'Planet of the Apes', along with 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' and 'Alice in Wonderland' 'Dark Shadows' is very much a lesser effort from Burton.

There are good things. It does look great, with splendidly Gothic and vibrantly colourful sets, wonderful and atmospheric use of colours, effectively ghoulish make-up and appropriately kooky costumes that suited the characters very well, while it's beautifully and stylishly photographed as well. The music score is groovy, rousingly orchestrated, haunting and a long way from forgettable or generic, if not one of Danny Elfman's best or most inspired scores, with some clever song choices. There are some amusing, well-written lines in the script, loved the line about Alice Cooper and it is most successful when Barnabas is struggling to fit in, and a few of the cast acquit themselves well.

Johnny Depp is no Jonathan Frid and he has given better performances (though also much worse, it is one of his better performances in any of his later collaborations with Burton), but he is clearly having a lot of fun as Barnabas without overdoing it and is one of the most involved members of the cast, he also is very charismatic. Michelle Pfeiffer is one of the most successful at injecting a genuine and faithful personality, while Eva Green is both sexy and intense. Cameos by Christopher Lee and Alice Cooper are well-utilised.

Unfortunately, a number of the cast don't come off well. Jackie Earl Haley, who is very good at being menacing and sometimes low-key if he needs to be, looked bored in a role that is so much in the background that there was almost no need for him. Helena Bonham Carter overdoes it and comes over as out of place, while Chloe Grace Moretz is irritating in a negatively stereotypical role. Much of the acting is either over-compensated and bland, being able to do very little to nothing with their dull and often unrecognisable in personality characters, and while it was interesting to see Frid his appearance is far too short to leave a lasting impression. The chemistry between the characters, one of the show's biggest strengths, is barely there.

'Dark Shadows' script has its moments, but these moments are too sporadic. Tonally it is very unfocused and muddled too often, it rarely seems to know whether to be eccentric comedy or full-blown melodrama. It attempts to do both (amongst others) and never completely succeeds at either, the comedy is too sporadic and can be childish and overdone and the melodrama is unmoving and overwrought. Story-wise it's a mess, it never really comes to life, has twists that come out of nowhere and are completely misplaced (especially the werewolf subplot), parts that drag endlessly and contribute very little to the plot and parts that looked alright on paper but executed in a half-baked way.

As a result, the Gothic atmosphere is almost completely lost, with it only being obvious in the production values, while the sex scene choreographed to Barry White is too broad and overly-wild and the ending is overblown to ridiculous extremes. Burton's direction does well with the style is but severely lacking in the story and the substance, where there is a complete lack of heart and soul.

Overall, not awful but disappoints hugely both as a standalone and especially as an adaptation of a classic show. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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somehow not that good
EchoMaRinE6 July 2012
My overall opinion is not negative but I feel like the idea is wasted a bit. The movie started pretty good. But after twenty minutes, everything became predictable. It was not boring but it was not very entertaining either. I don't even think this movie is comedy. There are very few jokes. Overall acting was kind of OK but Depp is becoming a very one dimensional actor by playing always similar characters. The scenery was pretty good and I must say, visuals were quite good as well. At the end, I wouldn't watch this movie once more but at least I didn't regret paying for it. If you didn't like the other Depp and Burton movies, don't even think watching this one.
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This film is a disaster, and not an "homage" to the original "Dark Shadows" at all.
Tessa1113 May 2012
How sad that Burton/Depp decided to "sex-up" this film with breasts, bad actresses, and lousy script offerings. Not one character was worthy of any type of accolade. Some things should be left in the past...and this is one of them.

Sure, you had the basic premise of pitiful Barnabus being cursed by Angelique, but there was no back story of any worth. Josette was thrown in as just a "special-effect" death...with no relationship with Barnabus, whatsoever.

Fast-forward to the future and it's sick/silly. Nothing was funny and they showed every single joke in the trailers. Felt sorry for the "whoosh" from the original cast that got thrown in...and Chris Lee was useless.

The lines of this film were thrown away...and close-ups of Depp's various makeup jobs were sloppy.

There is no excuse for doing a film of this cheapness and calling it after something that was so enjoyed by past generations. Two series are worth more than this mess. Please....save your money and rent the originals...from Net Flix.

See what true story-telling should be, not this lack-a-daisical junky stuff. This will end up being on the bottom of every Walmart bin....for $1 for many years.
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The Best Movie So Far
thedeppfan19634 September 2012
I am always open to something new. I really appreciate Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's works, as they are always unexpected and different. This one was not a replica of the show, but showed it respect. How could anyone expect a show that ran for so long to be represented in a two hour movie? This was a fantastic piece that I look forward to seeing again and again. It is not a straight up comedy, but I do not know of a better way they could have sold it. It's nice to see vampires that do not sparkle, and cannot be touched by sunlight. Burton and Depp have made a fantastic movie that has monsters that look like they are supposed to. It does homage to the original show, as well as the monster actors of yesteryear.
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Just Awful
I was probably more excited than anyone when I heard a new Dark Shadows movie was going to be made. I was even more excited to learn Johnny Depp was behind it. WIth his clout in Hollywood, and his fan base, I knew the movie would get the needed financial backing and draw a crowd at the theaters. This was going to be great.

Then I heard Tim Burton was signed on. It never occurred to me, and I suppose it should have, that he would bring Tim Burton into the fold. Tim has done some great work - Sleepy Hollow is a favorite of mine, except the scene with the old witch who was a talking skull whose eyes and tongue popped out (stupid) this was a great film. Once I heard Tim was on board I knew the stupidity would commence and the film would be ruined. I really hoped Depp wouldn't allow "Stupid Burton Tricks" in this film. They were both supposed to be fans of the show. Clearly, they weren't. They just made the claim to win over TRUE Dark Shadows fans. It is unfortunate that Depp allowed Burton to ruin what could have been a great film. It's unfortunate Burton was ever signed on to the project.

The other reviews here give enough examples of the stupidity I refer to. I had hopes for new blood for Dark Shadows. A new future, with new stories. Now I can only hope we won't have to endure a sequel as well.

Thanks Tim for driving a stake through the heart of my childhood memories.
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What a disappointment
Having been raised on the original Dark Shadows TV series and having seen the original dark shadows movie (btw, it was done MUCH better than this farce) I was disappointed... in the roles Jonny Depp and Tim Burton played in bringing this mockery to the theater. It bears VERY little resemblance to ANY of the original series or movie, and that resemblance is only in the names of the characters.

How a Gothic romance horror can be turned into this joke of a movie is beyond my ability to comprehend. there was no horror and very little "goth" or romance. I understand the need to "modernize" a movie to make it appealing to a different generation, but this is not modernization, it is butchery. Would you approve of the works of Shakespeare being butchered in such a way? The tell tale heart turned into a comedy with NO resemblance to the original work? No..

My advice to all those who loved the original series OR the original movie? No not watch this, you will /wrists before the movie is even 1/2 way through.

And Tim Burton? Jonny Depp? I am ashamed and appalled to EVER call you great after what you did to this story...
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Utterly disappointing
Remy_Azhary11 May 2012
From the trailer, I was expecting Tim Burton to re-conjure up his clever supernatural formula of his 1988's BEETLEJUICE. I knew that he was going to take a comedic direction as compared to the serious Gothic thriller versions of the 60s and 90s TV series . However, Burton failed to make this one work, much less a big screen version to the successful series. In fact, I would be so generous as to say that the trailer makes better sales pitch than the movie itself.

But apparently I was sheep enough to be deceived by its sly marketing.

Ghosts, witches, vampires and werewolves would certainly make good concoctions for an interesting supernatural movie premise after the recent splash of the superhero ensemble that was THE AVENGERS. But it seems that that was pure wishful thinking. I was bored to my bones and uninterested throughout the entire movie. I found myself practically praying when the movie is going to end as my focus was beginning to drain out.

On another level, it's quite plain to see that the Burton-Depp collaboration has been definitely been exhausted. I mean I should have seen the tell-tale signs that their so-called "professional marriage made in cinema heaven" had faded when they did the trying-too-hard screen version of the musical SWEENEY TODD. It seems like their last best project together would have to be SLEEPY HOLLOW and whatever they do afterwards seems to be forced. It's as if Hollywood itself is the mastermind that makes them keep up with the charades.

Strangely enough, it was Depp himself who jokingly hinted on E! that his collaboration with Burton seems to be failing like many Hollywood marital affairs. And it was proved a true revelation in this latest box-office bomb (to me, at least).

Like many others who flocked early to get the tickets, I was really anticipating a fun journey. Instead, all we got was an arid unimpressive trip into oblivion. I suppose those who among the lucky ones to have snapped up tickets to sold-out shows really deserved the junk that we saw on screen.

As colourful as the poster might have looked the only vibrance about DARK SHADOWS were the 70s costumes and Helena Bonham Carter's rich makeup. Even those did not feel authentic to the era other than tunes by The Carpenters.

I must say that it was a terrible waste of talents to be in this excuse of a "dark comedy". From Michelle Pfeiffer to the gorgeous Eva Green and cameos by Christopher Lee and the original "Barnabas Collins", Jonathan Frid (who passed on following the wrap-up). At the risk of sounding cruel I suppose his demise was probably due his disappointment Burton's treatment to his original series. And even Alice Cooper's presence did not particularly grace the film with his homage to the age of rock-and-rock of the 70s.
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Just Horrible!
gingercat1233 November 2012
Bleh! I am so over the weird and quirky Tim Burton stuff. How about a different approach... make an interesting, smart, and compelling movie. As a fan of the original Dark Shadows TV show, this was a huge disappointment. What a missed opportunity to provide the massive baby-boomer audience with something they could really sink their teeth into. I am a fan of Johnny Depp. But my two favorite movies of his were Chocolat and Donnie Brasco. Both of these movies had absolutely nothing to do with Tim Burton. He is a very capable actor with the ability to play many genres. But I don't think he has explored his potential enough. This will never happen as long as his movies involve the 'creative team' of Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton. Bored to tears, I had a hard time staying awake while trying to watch this movie.
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Dismal stuff.
jmlawton14 May 2012
I usually like the Burton/Depp combination, sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much, but this, I'm afraid, is very poor stuff indeed. I have no idea what Burton was aiming for, but the general ambiance is of a low-grade afternoon TV film aimed at the early-teen market. The female characters were straight out of "Bewitched", and many of the special effects were a mishmash of "Beetlejuice" and "Death Becomes Her" coated in the usual Burton eye-shadow (not intrinsically a bad thing, but now starting to look like last year's "colourway"). There is no character or plot development, the film is neither scary nor humorous. Would uncritical twelve year olds like it? I don't know, but it's not for critical adults, that's for sure. Spend your money on something else.
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Don't bother.
ilydshut21 May 2012
I am a Johnny Depp and Tim Burton fan girl!!!!! That being said...

The intro excited me, but the rest of the movie made me regret buying the tickets. The movie is a downward spiral of awkward acting and bad jokes.

Burton's visuals are wonderful as always. His colors and scenes make you believe you are where he wants you to be, but the dialogue is simply horrendous for most of the movie. You get rewarded by a few funny jokes for not walking out of the theater once Collins reaches the house, but otherwise are left feeling underwhelmed.

I wont spoil it with details (not that there is much to spoil), but I will say this: Leave your lofty expectations at the theater door so you don't get pushed off cloud nine only to land on 100 degree cement... barefoot.
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