Dark ShadowsFeature Film |
A disappointingly slight and silly adaptation.
Oh, Tim Burton. What happened? Dark Shadows takes its place as another flashy but empty entry in the director's collaboration with Johnny Depp. Based on the popular 1966-1971 soap opera, the film was adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith, best known for his campy "mash-up" novels, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The film dispenses with the TV show's somber tone in favor of a visual outlandishness which blandly matches the material's outrageousness, and goofy, overly familiar fish-out-of-water comedy. Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a vampire raised from the dead in 1971, 200 years after being cursed by a jealous witch, Angelique (Eva Green). He awakens to find that she's destroyed his family's fishing empire. Faced with rebuilding his family's stature, he enlists the aid of Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer, pretty much wasted), the family's current matriarch. Her rebellious daughter, Carolyn (Chloë Grace Moretz) and the family shrink, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), have secrets of their own. But the movie holds few surprises, and unlike Burton's classic work (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands), it's pretty much pure camp. It doesn't balance its whimsical silliness with any emotional depth. Depp has supposedly cherished the role since he was a teen, but Barnabas comes across as just another, less interesting oddball in the actor's pantheon. The too-cool-for-school flippancy of Dark Shadows detracts from its dark shadowiness. It's a candy-colored empty trifle of a film.
|Dark Shadows Trailer|