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3.9 out of 5 stars437
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 4 June 2012
Dark Shadows is a typical Burton's film. It comes across as quirky, surreal, gothic and richly entertaining. I enjoyed the film. Johnny Depp proves how versatile he is as an actor. He plays the role of a vampire really well. I love the make -up and the costumes of the characters. The setting sets the tone of the film really well. The characters are interesting and eccentric.

The plot initially starts three centuries ago. The opening sequence shows a young Barnabas and his parents leaving Liverpool for a new life in an American fishing town. The family build a huge mansion. Barnabas becomes a businessmen and a servant played by Eva Green falls for him. She is later rejected and takes revenge by killing the parents. She is a witch. Barnabas returns alive in the 70s. Why going back to the 70s? The TV series is based on the 70s and was never shown in the UK. It is available on DVD, but only sold in the States if you are interested to watch the original TV series. The mansion is passed on to a new generation, who are dysfunctional and strange. Barnabas is a vampire and even the past haunts him, as you are about to discover. The film is filled with plenty of comedy moments and a few glory bloodshot moments. It has a good cast, as Michelle Pfeiffer and Helen Bonham compliment the main characters well with their roles.

Dark Shadows is classed as a comedy film. It is a bit like the Adams family, as it is gothic and vampire influenced. I admit it is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It is entertaining and worth seeing if you like to have a good laugh, but I would not say it is totally light hearted. The term light hearted is a bit of an understatement, as there are some sickening moments in the film. I enjoyed the film as a whole. I love the 70s nostalgic to the film. The good old days of the decade are relieved with some classic tunes.
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The film received mixed reviews, for me, this is 'Johnny Depp' at his deliciously wicked best.
His family arrived in America many years ago, and built a fine fishing business calling the town -'Collinsport' along with a splendid mansion.
'Barnabas' who finishes an affair with one of the house servants has picked the wrong lady to mess with.............she's a 'witch'
she places a curse on the 'Collins' family killing the parents and condemning 'Barnabas' with a life as a 'vampire'
Unable to win him back she has him buried in a coffin secured by chains......................'196' years later a group of workmen uncover the coffin and cut the chains, 'Barnabas' is freed.
It's a strange world, '1972' so much has changed, he returns to the family home to find it run down, however the home is still occupied by the 'Collins' descendants, who are some what dysfunctional.
'Barnabas' discovers the business is now run by .............and yes,'the witch 'Angelique' (Eva Green) that had condemned him nearly 200 years ago................well 'mayhem' is about to break out as 'Barnabas' sets out to re-build that which the family had lost.
'Angelique' has other ideas.
Among the cast members also on-board - 'Michelle Pfeiffer' (Elizabeth Collins Stoddard) 'Helen Bonham Carter' (Dr Julia Hoffman) 'Chloe Grace Moretz' (Carolyn Stoddard) 'Christopher Lee' (Clarney) and 'Alice Cooper' (as himself) among
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2014
All big fan of Johny Depp and Tim Burton as I am, I was still VERY disappointed by this film. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

This film, as probably everybody knows, is the remake of an old TV show (1966-71) about a very strange family living in modern times in Maine. The family becomes even stranger once their 200 years old vampire-ancestor, Barnabas Collins, rises from his grave and moves in with them... I didn't see any of the episodes of this show, so I can absolutely not compare it with the film - but it seemed to be quite popular in its time and it seems to have still some cult following now.

I knew that this film bombed at the box office, but it usually doesn't bother me, so I decided to give it a chance, just setting my expectation level at "really not high". Sadly, it was not nearly low enough and therefore I was VERY disappointed.

To put things very bluntly, this film is BORING. It is definitely NOT FUNNY - I couldn't find even one really good joke in it. Visually, there are some scenes in which you can still see some of talent Tim Burton knew how to conjure in the days of yore - but they are few... And even worse, a lot of talent was wasted here by a bland, uninspired scenario. Johny Depp as Barabas was of course supposed to be the main asset - and he doesn't deliver. AT ALL! With Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Lee Miller and young Chloe Grace Moretz in supporting roles there was a lot of things that could have been done - and nothing happened! For Christ sake, Tim Burton had Michelle Pfeiffer at his disposal and all he could find for her to do is to once discharge a shotgun!? Really man!? Then he even hired Christopher Lee for a cameo - and failed to do anything with such an opportunity!

As for Eva Green, I confess to an element of subjectivity, because I simply cannot stand her, but here, playing the main villain (and a very evil and depraved one) she was probably completely in her element - and yet, her character is also a huuuuge disappointment...

Tim Burton made some great movies in the past, like "Beetlejuice", two "Batman" films, "Mars Attacks", "Sleepy Hollow" (I didn't see "Sweeney Todd" yet) - but both "Alice in the Wonderland" and "Dark Shadows" were complete failures... I am afraid that he simply burned out - which would be a great pity... As for Johny Depp, he also appeared in a lot of great films: the first "Pirates of Caribbean" of course, but also "Ninth Gate", "Sleepy Hollow", "Donnie Brasco", "Secret Window" and of course "The Brave", which he also directed (it is one of the most shocking and creepiest films I ever saw) - but even his talent couldn't save this failed thing...

When this film ended I was mostly relieved that this ordeal was over, but also sad, because a lot effort and talent was wasted here - and I simply cannot understand why... My sincere advice is to AVOID IT!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 November 2015
One of those rare occurrences where Tim Burton doesn't quite hit the spot. It's visually very much a typical Burton film with some lovely and dark cinematography as you'd expect with many of the usual faces and typically quirky characters, but it's not his best effort, it isn't really quite funny enough to be the spoof vampire film I think it's suppose to be and it was all a bit predictable with only OK performances, rather than great performances.

Maybe younger viewers would enjoy it more, but other Burton films which are maybe aimed more towards younger views are usually still equally enjoyable on an adult level also. Still, I'd probably watch it again at some point in the future.
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on 5 March 2014
Whilst once Tim Burton was a magical director who films you could not miss, he has now gone past off the boil and into tepid to the touch. ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Planet of the Apes’ are two particularly unwatchable films from his past. ‘Dark Shadows’ does not quite fall to these depths, but is not far off. Based on a cult TV show that not many people in the UK will know, it follows the exploits of the Collins family and in particular Barnabas – who happens to be a vampire. He is awakened in the 1970s and must try and reverse his family’s fortunes.

Like a drunk at a bar, ‘Dark Shadows’ falls between stools. Is it a horror, comedy, family saga? It is all of these things, but also none of them. If you had to pigeonhole it with a genre, it would be – messy. The best elements are certainly the humorous ones; Eva Green is great as a vampish witch and hams up the screen nicely. However, the horrific elements seem poorly judged. We are meant to feel sympathy to Barnabas, but he kills indiscriminately on more than one occasion during the film. What could have had some family friendly credentials are thrown out for apparently no reason.

The worst elements of the film are the editing and story. It feels almost directionless at times blundering around with nothing happening and then something from leftfield just popping up. The film has more than a faint whiff of ‘The Addams Family’ about it, but whilst that film has lurched into cinema history glory, ‘Dark Shadows’ is just another nail in Burton’s once great career coffin.

With all the special effects on offer trying to distract you from the nonsensical plot, Blu-ray is the way to go. There are plenty of behind the scenes extras for anyone who wants to know more about how the film was seemingly thrown together.
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on 1 February 2014
Joshua and Naomi Collins, and son Barnabas, start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family.

Two decades pass and Barnabas has the world at his feet, and as the master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy, until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique.

Angelique turns him into a vampire, and then buries him alive.

Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and awakes to 1972.

He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin....

This has to be the most Tim Burton Tim Burton movie since Mars Attacks! and I can see why many found this not what they expected, it's very left field, and at times does no know what genre it wants to be in.

Depp as always is utterly fantastic as Barnabas, a gentleman and a ruthless killer all at once. And the rest of the cast are all great with the exception of Pfeiffer.

She really has nothing to do in the movie and really her role could have been cut and the film wouldn't have suffered. It's not her fault, but all the other key characters have some sort of subplot going on in the film.

It's funny at times, very funny, and then it can be dark and truly chilling (the scene with the hippies is one of these key elements), which is probably why it will struggle to find a demographic.

But it's really good, and never really let's up until the final act, when it goes literally over the top. The sets are sublime and as you would expect from the man who gave us 'Beetlejuice' (which this film is most like) its very kooky and psychedelic.

It's a love it or hate it film, and I really understand why, luckily I loved it
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A movie about a whiter shade of pale

I have to admit that I never watched the original "Dark Shadows" (1966-1971), as I spent decades ignoring soap operas and most weekly serial entertainment programs with the exception of a few classics. However even though I keep saying I do not like the Jonny Depth sort of film I find that I strangely enough purchased just about all of them. After watching "Dark Shadows" I guess I will just have to admit that I do like his body of work. Turns out it is a lot of Burton's films with which I am not enamored.

Just in case I am not the only person to have missed the original story line, this film is about the head of a household "Collinwood" or more of a financial empire that returns to a crumbling future to rebuild that empire.

In his youthful lusty way Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) besmirches a young which Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) and soon must turn to the dark side to protect himself and the new love of his life. It is to no avail as he is transformed into a vampire and force to covet his neighbor's blood. He is boxed for a couple hundred years and on his return he now must cope with a new world and his reencounter with his gorgeous lustful nemesis.

This looks like it is probably a pilot to a new series of films similar to his previous "Pirates of the Caribbean" series.

Now I want the sound track. I have most of the songs now but it is a nice mixture and will remind me of the movie.

"The Secret Room"
"Nights in White Satin"
"Season of the Witch"
"Superfly"
"I'm Sick of You."
"Highway Star"
"Theme from a Summer Place"
"Top of the World"
"Crocodile Rock"
"Paranoid"
"Happy Nightstrums"
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
"The Joker"
"Bang a Gong (get it on)"
"No more Mr. Nice Guy"
"Ballad of Dwight Frye"
"Go all the way"
"I would like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony)"
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on 10 June 2012
I had forgotten that Johnny Depp can also be a serious actor - & here he plays the part of an English aristocrat settler in 1700s America - perfectly: having been turned into a vampire by an insanely jealous witch, he awakes 200 years later in 1970's America. To find a strange world, where the inevitable culture clash between the 2 eras is fertile ground for lots of laughs. And with background music of 1970s pop songs, it really is most enjoyable. Special effects - yes & quite well done, horror - not really, more on a par with Addams Family Values. OK, the plot is a bit simple, but you walk out of the cinema with a smile & not feeling as if you've wasted your money. Would buy the DVD provided it's well below a fiver.
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on 22 October 2012
When you get the pairing of Johnny Depp & Tim Burton you know 2 things
10 Visually impressive with the scenes,back drops & camera usage
2) It will be cooky & entertaining.
This goes so much further than the previous collaborations.
If you have seen the 60's & 90's revival of the classic tv show made in the 60's then you should know this is not like those.
Story line is loosely the same but this has been given a fresh shot of life.
Worth getting as it is the intricate details of Depp's acting that brings this to another level along with the star cast.
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on 14 February 2014
Based on the gothic soap opera, Tim Burton's take centers on Barnabas Collins (Depp), an 18th century noble cursed to become a vampire by a witch (Eva Green) obsessed with him. He awakes 2 centuries later to find his family (made up of the like of Michelle Pfieffer, Chloe Grace-Moretz, Johnny Lee Miller and Gulliver McCrath) in shambles, and the witch now runs the biggest fishing business in town. Armed with his undead power and old fashioned views, Barnabas sets out to rebuild the family fortune and defeat the witch who put him in this predicament so long ago.

Perhaps uneven and overblown, Burton's horror-comedy tries to be many things, and isn't exactly bad at any one. Part of this is due to its very talented cast, including a wonderfully straight-faced Pfieffer and smoking-hot Green hamming it up, alongside a surprisingly not overly zany Depp. This is alongside impressive gothic sets, especially the Collins Mansion, that show good money has been spent, and feels like a giant love letter to classic Hammer. Add a refreshingly zany, 70s-infused score from Elfman that calls back to the days of Beetlejuice and Flubber, and you have a film that never has a dull moment, and certainly has a number of amusing scenes.

However, its less than stellar reception is not unfounded: it does relish its darkness a little too much, going from silly gags to Barnabas mass murdering people without much grace (though it's not as relentlessly wacky or silly as the marketing made many people think. This ain't Addams Family) and the story does occasionally stretch itself a little thin, with some 'oh-lord-people-still-write-that!' cliched lines, and a couple of twists in the last third coming out of nowhere just to give the supporting cast some way to fight Green's witch. And there's a scene involving someone being blown, which was more for shock value and feels like glorified fan-service.

But despite the hiccups, I quite enjoyed myself with 'Dark Shadows'. It's not 'Tim Burton's Addams Family' in the slightest, despite what the marketing may tell you: think of it as more a Hammer throwback with comical elements. Let's hope the best for Beetlejuice 2.
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