In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet, or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death by turning him into a vampire and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He then returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate and lineage has fallen into ruins.
Review By Naseem Randhawa
Like every Tim Burton movie, it's a treat to be propelled into a melancholy yet flamboyant eccentricity laden world that's so artistically disconnected from reality. But while the quirky filmmaker had churned out some great work ("Edward Sccissorhands" & "Beetlejuice") he also had a few that seeped wonderful potential, but instead bordered towards disappointing ("Alice In Wonderland" & "Sweeney Todd"). So does "Dark Shadows" live up to the Burton name? Thankfully, it does, and may mark the beginning of the end of the Burton creative dry-spell fans had so long awaited to end.
Long-time buddies and fellow collaborators Burton and Depp return for their eighth effort together, which now bares witness a late 70's TV series resurrected for the big screen. And while we're on the subject of resurrection; Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a wealthy playboy who awakens as a vampire after 200 years as a result of having been cursed by a vengeful witch (Eva Green). Facing the culture shock of the 70's and his surviving Collins lineage, Barnabas tries to bring his dilapidated family's name (and mansion) back to glory, but much to his mortification, finds that his former wicked plaything still lurks in town, still very much obsessed and maddeningly possessed by her (literally) undying love for Barnabas.
The mash-up between the overall colourful 70's; hippies, lava lamps and Volkswagen vans, along with the creepy dark gothic undertones that Depp delivers with his pale presence as the member of the undead, is rather reminiscent to the contrasting setting delivered by "Edward Scissorhands" (colourful houses with well-kept lawns and the dark-gothic Edward) and "Beetlejuice" (the bright living world reflecting off the creepy underworld).
We're willing to bet that screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith had some part with the mash-up process as well, what with having gained fame with his best-selling mash up novels "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies" and "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" (the latter which will make its big screen debut this 28 June), as he weaves the horror elements into precise comedic timing that is a hoot and a half to watch!
As many Depp fans have come to accept that he is moulded for eccentric roles the best, the 48-year-old has added another Nosferatu akin character with a bit of Jack Sparrow, Sweeney Todd and Don Juan rolled into one that many may come to love, as always as with the case of Depp. Green as the wicked Wiccan is perfect as the other popular rhyming word to; Witch, as her catlike eyes hint mischievousness, as with her delivery of sneering smiles that are more than chilling to the bone.
Aside from the Collins family that's made up of Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz, Gulliver McGrath and of course, the moody psychiatrist Helena Bonham Carter (Burton's wife and muse), look for some cameos from a veteran 'vampire', as well as a popular horror gothic rockstar.
For a quirky Burton movie in the vein of his much beloved classics tinged with witty lines and a lot of flowing hilarity; "Dark Shadows" is truly 'Fangtastic'!
Apart from the standard 35mm format, "Dark Shadows" is also available in 2D and IMAX 2D.
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