© Warner Bros. Pictures Germany

Dark Shadows
U.S.A. 2012

Opening 10 May 2012

Directed by: Tim Burton
Writing credits: Seth Grahame-Smith, John August, Dan Curtis
Principal actors: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley

The 1960’s American gothic soap opera created by Dan Curtis was the inspiration for film director Tim Burton, to dawn the silver screen with his latest horror comedy Dark Shadows. Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the film’s screenplay from a story on which he and John August collaborated. Burton had no small task to compile a mere two-hour storyline for the feature film Dark Shadows taken from Curtis’s cult classic daytime television series "Dark Shadows" featuring at least 1200 episodes that began in 1966 and ran through 1971. The narrative satire combines superb acting and cinematography, elaborate make-up, costume and set design to transform the television series of old into a new tale of fun using malicious supernatural power gone wrong. But, key to its satire is the brilliant comic relief that comes from the vintage 1970’s music used to make the film’s points of transition entertaining.

Every family has secrets not shared with all mankind and more than not for good reason. The Collins family, who ventured from England in 1750 to start a new life in America, is no different. Joshua and Naomi Collins, with their young son, Barnabas, landed on the coast of Maine to invest their capital in the fishing industry. The Collins business thrived on a proper English foundation marked by integrity, etiquette, and good business sense. They were so successful and loved by all that the town was proud to carry the family name: Collinsport. Barnabas (Johnny Depp), the family protégé, became known as the "the finest man the family ever knew." This virtue made him a good catch for the Collinsport women folk. Barnabas, the master of Collinwood Manor, rich and powerful, used his influence to play the field until he found his true love, Josette DuPres (Bella Heathercote). Sadly Barnabas finds his ill fate choosing Josette over the closet witch, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). Angelique is more than heartbroken and puts Barnabas under a spell she believes will bewitch him forever. At his bewitching hour to bury him alive, Angelique turns him into a vampire, putting an embarrassing twist to Barnabas’s fate which he vows to revenge if freed from her curse to roam the earth again.

Yep! It happens 200 years later and Barnabas is released from his coffin and thrust out into an estranged era of history called 1972. He seeks to be free from Angelique’s curse; but, first must find out if there remains a Collins family linage to teach him the ways of a new world he knows nothing about before he sucks blood from too many innocent people on his journey for freedom. Barnabas finds the Collins family descendants living in his manor and is saddened at its disarray until he learns the reason. Barnabas discovers that Angelique is not only responsible for the family demise but also for Collinsport. He must find a way to be freed from the curse put on him where everyone he loves dies. He asks his family for help. They agree and are invigorated after his family challenge, "One thing you should know about the Collins family...we endure." The rest is the chilling account found in the Collins family Dark Shadows. (Karen Pecota)

Second Opinion

Dark Shadows is a movie about a vampire who got out into a box because he had gone mad because his parents are dead. He was found by some workers who are scared of the coffin. Due to a spell cast by a witch, he is in love with a girl who died and can’t seem to change his feelings. The witch actually loved him but he didn’t love her so she becomes jealous and casts the spell.

I think it’s a funny movie because the witch and the vampire fight but not really, the witch still loves him. And he was asleep for a very long time and technology has changed a lot. I would give this movie five stars. It was just a great movie. (Adrian Schoeneshoefer)

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