I'll admit, I was a bit hesitant to watch this. Many years ago I used to watch the original Dark Shadows TV series, and the previews I saw for this film had me concerned that it was going to be a big parody of itself ala Charlie's Angels. But my husband knows me well, and he knew that all he had to do is casually mention that Alice Cooper makes an appearance in it to get me to stick around for movie night.
I was not completely disappointed.
The film does do a great job of covering the basic storyline of a show that had almost 600 episodes in just under two hours. It was even kind enough to wrap up some of those loose ends that the show left unresolved for us. That alone made it worth the watch.
However, the film does have the signature Tim Burton style to it, which is perfect for the modern re-telling trend but still sits a little too heavy when one compares it to the original. I had a terrible time getting past the harsh goth-vampire makeup on a class act like Barnabas Collins. Thankfully, much of the character's dialog helped make up for that.
Does it get a little cheesy at some points? Most certainly. But no so much so that I wanted to leave the room, which is what I had been expecting. Let's face it, the Collins Family story is pretty dark... so I can see throwing in a lot of light moments in order to keep the PG-13 rating.
Overall, not bad. Johnny Depp can still pull off elegant and handsome even while under a half-pound of alabaster white makeup. The scenes are shot beautifully and the house is just to die for. Just don't expect it to have that archaic feel of the original.
Film information : Dark Shadows
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