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Summary 9.0 great
Release year: 2012
Director: Tim Burton
Screenwriter: Seth Grahame-Smith, John August, Dan Curtis (based on tv series by)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Bella Heathcote, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Chloë Graze Moretz
Scorned lover Angelique (Green) uses her witchery craft to turn Barnabas Collins (Depp) into a vampire before imprisoning him underground. When he is released more than two centuries later he returns to his ancestral home only to discover his hometown in the claws of Angelique. With the help of his relatives, Barnabas tries to set things straight while maybe getting a second chance at love. But the witch isn’t ready to let him go yet.
A big fan of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows from the 1960s, Depp convinced his favourite collaborator Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow, 1999) to direct him in the lead as Barnabas Collins. Burton’s taste for the gothic is a perfect match for this quirky mixture of camp and spookiness, which, as typical for his movies, is served with a stunning visual style and a sense for melodramatic that instantly nods to the soap opera origin. After a dramatic start, which rich story almost feels like an entire movie, the movie turns up the humour, as Barnabas reacts to 1970s pop culture. Pfeiffer (What Lies Beneath, 2000) carries herself well as the mistress of the house in the 1970s with Moretz (Kick-Ass, 2010) and Gulliver McGrath (Lincoln, 2012) impressing as her kids. But the main attraction is Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003) as a campy Nosferatu and Green (Casino Royale, 2006) as the vengeful witch with a constant stiff smile and her husky voice put to great use. Especially the scenes where the two clashes are fierce and entertaining and poor Heathcote (In Time, 2011) is forced to see herself pale next to them. A successful blend of fish-out-of-water comedy, gothic romance and family drama, Dark Shadow is a wonderful trip into the Burtonesque milieu we have come to know and love.
Tim Burton wanted the film to reflect the era of its setting, and showed Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel several 1970s vampire movies to help him understand the way the film should be shot.
Picture copyrights: Warner Home Video