Dark Shadows (2012) brings together big names and Tim Burton’s signature macabre style. But it forgets to include a memorable story.
Dark Shadows (2012) Synopsis
Life was awesome for young Barnabas Collins; that is, till his amorous ways earned the jealous fury of witch Angelique Bouchard. Not only does Angelique kills Barnabas’ love, she transforms him into an immortal vampire. Two centuries later, Barnabas awakens to discover his beloved family in semi-ruin, a far cry from the respectable clan they once were. When Barnabas uses his vampiric powers to restore their fishing business, he discovers that Angelique is still well and alive. Angelique, meanwhile, is also determined to finally make Barnabas her own.
I missed this back in 2012.
Can’t remember the exact reasons why; could be because of work. Or most likely, I was put off by the rather unenthusiastic reviews back then. As well as a little tired of Tim Burton dark comedies at that point.
They start to feel too similar after a while, don’t they?
Anyhow, I finally watched this on Netflix and my immediate reaction is, hey, it’s not that insipid at all! The one-gag/trick premise aside, Johnny Depp’s comically elegant mannerisms keep the movie alive to an extent. Naturally, all that gothic magnificence and ambience are visual candy too. Here, allow me to just lament, if only more of the mansion was shown.
Moving on to the downsides of the show … these are well-known, aren’t they? While the show isn’t void of dramatics, it’s still a flatland ride. The story never fully comes to terms on whether it’s out for laughs or horror, or family drama. In the end, the mish-mash of everything just feels like a sideshow to complement the lone attraction. This, of course, being Barnabas Collins’ antiquated affability.
All in all, not the unforgettable big-screen gothic extravaganza it was intended to be. But Dark Shadows is certainly not bad for some late-night streaming too. The way the story unfolds left much ground for sequels too; Dr. Hoffman’s fate being the most obvious example. But as we all know, that’s not going to happen. I personally find this a little tragic.
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