With much anticipation I went to see Dark Shadows. A Tim Burton movie, with Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter and Michelle Pheiffer. I was curious.
After Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and Alice in Wonderland (2010), I set off to be amazed… but was I?
18th century: the Collins family set off from England to the New World to set up a very successful fishing business. So successful, that the town was named after them, Collinsport. The Collins have a boy, Barnabas, who grows up to be, yes, a successful young man who is very pleasing to women. He fools around with Angelique, the maid, who falls madly in love with him. But he falls for the lovely Josette instead. But pity for him, Angelique is a witch who does not take rejection well. She puts a spell on his lovely Josette which results in her death, and as Barnabas throws himself from the cliff off which his beloved jumped to join her in death, Angelique transforms him into a vampire and gets the town’s folk to bury him in a coffin to spend eternity. The Collins are cursed from that day on…
Until Barnabas is dug up in 1972 …
Hmmm… Though I did enjoy it, it did not really live up to my expectations. I had doubts when I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland, but came out of the theatre pleased and surprised. I did not feel so in this case. I had a Corpse Bride (2005) revival instead (I did not care for it, and even stopped the DVD in the middle, I must admit).
Johnny is again great. His Barnabas Collins is well played and the make-up makes him a bit creepy. His hands especially.
Eva Green, I adored. Her sweet looks (she’s got such big eyes!) make her evil witch portrayal convincing in the way that you can get why the town folk like her. And she does something with her voice… I can’t put my finger on it, but at times it makes my skin crawl. To me she’s a great actress and I hope to see her more and in interesting roles.
Helena Bonham Carter is again the fun character in this movie.
And Michelle Pheiffer was a good choice. I like the roles she’s choosing these past years. I was so surprised to see her in Stardust (2007).
So I don’t know. For me Dark Shadows didn’t deliver. The music was great, but the story… I got something like, “hey Barnabas, if you go around acting like a playboy, it’s bound to bite you in the sitting area.” Angelique might be a witch, but heck, she fell in love. She turned him into a vampire. It’s not like she killed him. So she must still feel for the guy, though heartbroken. She kept thinking she had a chance with him till the very end. She even offered him her heart! Man! She ripped it out of her chest to give it to him. So maybe that’s it. I didn’t entirely feel for Barnabas. In some way, I felt for Angelique and her need for him to love her back.