Even Darker Shadows

Another film has arrived from the assembly line that is Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Plastic wrapped and predictable, their latest offering is nothing for the record books. Dark Shadows, based on a long running U.S sitcom tells the story of Barnabas Collins, an 18th century vampire made by a jealous witch, adjusting to 1970’s life after numerous years under ground.

Set in the gothic, beautifully stunning world of Burton it starts out with all the promise of his former glory, see Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood to name but a few, but falls flat very soon after. The problem with recent Burton endeavours seem to be a classic case of style over substance. The man has created a universe so instantly recognisable, an achievement but by the looks of things his downfall.

Early works had the heart of a great story to centre the films but with Dark Shadows it never quite gets there. Case in point, a love story between Depp’s character and a young nanny never seems to be built, it just kinda happens all a little too quickly. Too many sub plots and not enough development time makes for a film that seems half baked and thrown together. You get the feeling that a lot of stuff ended up on the cutting room floor.

But its not all doom and gloom, the costume work and set design is a treat for the eyes and you may even find yourself having a chuckle at some of the jokes, predictable they may be but funny all the same.

Depp as always is great in the character driven role but you can’t help but feel we have already been there before. Having worked together  now for a massive run of eight films its like watching two guys flog a dead horse.  Burton needs to step back, take stock of his recent works and find a fresh approach. This man has made some of the most iconic films of the last twenty years but also some of the most disappointing. Hopefully there is still some gold left in them there Burton/Depp mountains.

  1. Splendid *Insert Slow Clap*

  2. Come on Tim and Johnny please make the next one a good one!

  3. Why thank you Gem! Really hope its an appreciative slow clap and not a condesending slow clap…that would be awkward…

    • Chris Mills
    • June 5th, 2012

    I’m hoping to get to see it this week. Reviews haven’t been great generally but I’m interested in the design aspect of the film (and Depp of course!) so I’ll give it a go.

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