Tag Archives: dark shadows

Dark Shadows

The latest Burton-Depp-Movie that had been released over here.

A movie based on the homonymous TV series/soap opera about the last descendants of the Collins family. A family that came from Liverpool into the „New World“ to settle down and even managed to built their own town, thanks to their successful fishing company.

Or rather the last descendants and one of the very first Collins. Namely: Barnabas Collins. A Vampire-turned man imprisoned into a metal coffin for nearly 200 years by the woman he had rejected. He ends up in the 1970s version of their town Collinsport and has to experience things like cars, asphalt, television, hippies, McDonalds and the nearly ruined remains of his family.

After he had been buried „alive“ the witch, who had caused the death of his parents and his beloved and basically the demise of the Collins-family, took over the business and established her own fishing company. When Barnabas learns about this he gives his all to return his family to its former glory.
And that’s what the movie is basically about.
And of course the family-intern problems.
And the love triangle vampire-witch-reincarnated human.
And stuff.

Additional to Depp and Bonham Carter, we this time also have Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and former „Nightmare on Elmstreet“ Jack Earle Haley (unfortunately I only know him as Rorschach from „Watchmen“ so far…) and „Eli Stone“ Jonny Lee Miller.
Not that bad of a cast. Actually quite a good one.
Did a good job portraying those extraordinary characters.

In the following I will refrain from judging the movie.
I will not say whether it is good or bad.
I’ll simply stick with the word: bizarre.
And there will be spoilers, so you might stop reading if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

Why do I call this movie bizarre?

For once it kind of lacks the coherences Burton’s movies usually have.
The characters were roughly portrait and not really developed, but what you saw them doing was rather weird every now and then.
This might be due to people knowing them already because of the series.
Which I’ve never even took a glimpse opon…as the old version wasn’t released in Germany and the remake was broadcasted when I was far too young to watch, let alone understand it …

For example the daughter. During nearly the whole movie she looks/walks/dances like she is constantly high on whoever-knows-what.
Only during the finale she is seen with some kind of emotions – even if it is just „rage“.
When she turned into a Werwolf …
Yup, they got the Vampire first and even a wolfie …
Usually this would have been at least hinted beforehand, but this time it wasn’t or I simply missed it.

Or when the boy found Barnabas in the coffin, the thick metal coffin mind you, he just opened it. As if it was no big deal … And he somehow also managed to undo 5 to 10 centimeter thick steel chains … how ever he did that … was probably his ghost mom …

One of the oddest scenes however, was the „sex“-scene, where Barnabas and Angelique ruined her office while kissing and slamming each other from one side of the room to the other … everything else was off-screen. There was no real need to display this in my opinion.

In contradiction to the above mentioned things there where quite some funny scenes when Barnabas dealt with the „modern“ world.
A joke that I had heard or read of beforehand was when he found the McDonalds sign and mistook it for the symbol for „Mephistopheles„. Funny how I just wrote about him. 😀
I also chuckled when he sorrowfully told the hippies that he would have to kill them.
Or when he ripped out the backside of the TV station to force the tiny woman out of it.
And so forth…

Anyway, this movie has good and bad things, both dealt with in quite unusual ways.
Though we are used to this in Burton’s work, this time he approached it differently.
He created a bizarre movie, that was not always completely coherent, yet held rather humorous elements.
It even had quite a decent ending, till the cliff shot of both Barnabas and Victoria came along.
I liked the line, where the woman said, that they would do what they always had done: Survive.

I kind of doubt the aging over here was wisely chosen, however. I don’t think 12+ kids would understand some of the things I mentioned and the other things I didn’t.

Regardless of everything I said so far the movie is definitely worth watching.
But the expectations shouldn’t be too high.
It’s not your „average“ Burton.
It’s different.
It’s bizarre.