Review: 2.5 out of 4
Few television-to-movie adaptations actually end up working. So, it’s with great disappointment that “Dark Shadows,” based off a 70s TVshow, never really comes into the light despite best efforts of Tim Burton andJohnny Depp—their projects together now numbering eight.
Depp plays Barnabas Collins, part of the thriving Collinsseafood company in the 18th century before an evil witch, Angelique (EvaGreen), turns him into a vampire and encases him in a coffin after spurning heradvances.
Unearthed in 1972, Barnabas sees that his Collinwood estate is now inruins, his family has also been hit hard by this curse, and Angelique isrunning the town but still wants Barnabas as her own, or she will destroyeverything he holds dear.
This is a visual treat. With its haunting, gothic, funkyatmosphere, make-up, costume design, and special effects, it’s hard not toadmire how perfect this all looks on screen.
Michelle Pfeiffer (matriarch),Chloe Moretz (her daughter), Johnny Lee Miller (her brother), Helena BonhamCarter (family therapist), Jackie Earle Haley (estate groundskeeper), andGulliver McGrath (grandson) all look good as they fill out the household butBurton mostly centers the movie around the dueling Barnabas and Angelique.
Thisleaves a lot to be desired from the rest of the cast, primarily Bella Heathcote,playing the house governess who looks a lot like Barnabas’ lost love, but isgiven scant time as either teacher for the grandson or more importantly,compelling love interest.
No one seems to have more fun in make-up and costume thanDepp (except maybe Dame Edna) and his noble performance clashes well withGreen’s vampy seductress. Just it’s not enough to cover for lack of laughs;Barnabas’ fish-out-of-water act being more dated (misinterpreting everythingfrom TV to lava lamps) than funny. “Dark Shadows” looks great but thestorytelling could have used fresher blood.
Click for local movie showtimes from Moviefone