Dark Shadows Review

Dark Shadows Review

Prepare for some good old-fashioned Tim Burton fun!

On Wednesday, even though I was sick with pretty gross allergies, my husband and I took my mom up on her offer for a sleepover with our daughter and we went to see a movie by one of our absolute favorite directors, Tim Burton. Dark Shadows was pretty much everything you would expect it to be—a campy, Burton-y funny fest with plenty of weirdness and Johnny Depp. And it was really fun to see, especially if you like that kind of theme.

That doesn’t mean the movie wasn’t without its problems, of course (spoilers ahead). I’ve never watched the Dark Shadows soap opera—though I now know that my grandmother did, which makes me want to see it—so I’m not sure how it compares; but it did feel really disjointed, as if they were combining a bunch of episodes of the soap opera together to make a movie. Some things just never felt fully developed—such as Barnabas ‘s love for a main character, or the motive behind many of the characters’ actions. I still don’t really “get” Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, though I did like her. And what is it with Burton killing off Bonham Carter in every movie she is in? Whether her death was canon or not in the television show, I do not know, but it does seem like he likes to kill his partner off over and over again. I’m really not sure what to read into that, if anything—perhaps it’s all in good fun for the two of them.

The acting was lots of fun to watch; the entire cast was wonderful. I love Chloe Moretz (who went from playing the vampire in Let Me In to a surprise (and lovely) werewolf in this film) and Jackie Earle Haley (whom I think should have many more starring roles, especially in scary movies) just as much as the big A-list heading the film, and Eva Green was pretty spectacular—though she always is, in my experience.  I would like the makers of Twilight—and any other paranormal fictional film piece makers—to take note of how both the vampire and the werewolf were portrayed (and/or CGI’d) in this movie; that’s how it should be, folks. None of this glittery vamp and cheap wolfiness!

It’s not scary at all, so don’t go in expecting anything like Sleepy Hollow (I do miss Burton’s scariness sometimes). But it’s definitely as visually striking and entertaining as, say, Beetlejuice, though not quite as funny. If you’re a Burton fan I would say you should definitely check it out.