Directed by TIM BURTON
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS
After coming home from watching Dark Shadows last night, I began thinking about my review. Still laughing and little dazed I tried to focus on some key points: style, plot, characters. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the film, for its cracks were starting to show. But then it got me thinking, should we take it so seriously?
The premisse is quite simple: Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) broke Angelique Bouchard's heart (Eva Green) by falling in love with Josette DuPres (Bella Heathcote). Angelique is a revengeful witch, so she curses Barnabas with immortality, turing him into a vampire and burying him in a coffin. Until 196 years later a group of workers finds the coffin and opens it, unleashing an exasperated and thirsty Barnabas who finally escapes leaving no witnesses behind. He finds himself in the 70s, his family's impoverished and disgraced, and Angelique ruling the town his family once built. And so he takes it upon himself to rebuild his family and give it back its former glory and power, whilst falling in love with Victoria Winters, a young governess - if that term still applies - that strongly resembles Josette.
Though initially somewhat fast-paced (regrettably hinting us that Barnabas's past won't be up for much discussion), Dark Shadows manages to stay focus for a little while, when introducing Victoria and the Collins family. It is when Barnabas is released that things get out of hand: the vampire takes the stage, and everything else just fades in the background. Not that he isn't compelling, but for a film that ends with such a dramatic and gothically romantic reencounter between the two lovers, it sure neglects the object of his affection for nearly the whole time. Instead it turns to Angelique, who is still madly in love with Barnabas, and is constantly trying to win his affection, in between loathing his family and keeping her position has the city's most powerful woman. Again, not that she isn't interesting, quite the contrary, but isn't it strange that she doesn't really interact with Victoria? Memory may fail, but I can't recall a single scene between the two.