Dark Shadows leaves me disappointed–mostly…

I am 1/2 disappointed.  Is that possible?  I have never seen the 1966–1971 gothic horror soap opera of thesame name, so I had no expectations except for the hope that Burton and Depp were bringing back the old magic (I was keeping my fingers crossed).  Well, Tim Burton‘s Dark Shadows has good and bad things, but the magic has NOT fully returned.

Let’s begin with the good.  I enjoyed Johnny Depp‘s performance and that was nice because lately he has disappointed me.  As Barnabas Collins he brings angst, brooding and subtle humor to his fish out of water vampire–even with the ridiculous make up on (sorry–I am starting to worry about the Kabuki-like makeup fetish).  The sets were beautiful–Gothic and grand (and it was not so much of a comedy as the trailers indicated).  The effects are well done and the cast is perfect–especially Eva Green as the witch Angelique, who is the right mix of evil and sadly obsessed.  And I appreciated the premise, but this leads to the bad…

The narrative is all over the place.  This is the classic example of trying to say too much and ending up not saying anything.  There was no focus.  What story were they trying to tell?  I am not sure.  I think it was supposed to be about love lost and yet they did not spend enough time on that angle for me to care.  I also think they should have spent more time in the past if they wanted any of the key elements to resonate in the future.

Sigh.  Oh well.  I guess I should be happy that some of the magic was present, but I can not say I enjoyed it as much as I could have.  If only Burton had engrossed me with his brilliant storytelling, but instead this scattered story was too broad and as a result, it ended leaving me unsatisfied.

 

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About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

6 thoughts on “Dark Shadows leaves me disappointed–mostly…

  1. Definitely waiting for this on rental. Agree though, it’s a real shame from what I’ve heard. Had the potential to be a real return to form for the Burton/Depp pairing.

  2. Yeah, I think you hit on the biggest problem. There were too many characters so everyone’s story only got like 2 minutes of screentime before moving on to the next character. There was a lot of good stuff in it, but I never got the chance to connect to any of it before it was gone.

  3. A big letdown for me. I set the bar pretty high when it comes to Depp and Burton. I would like to place all the blame on script writer Seth Grahame-Smith. 😉

  4. I fell like it was poor writing. Johnny Depp’s character was good but he didn’t have good stuff to do. I came out reeling…why? why? Why would you harm you reputation with this trash? Cheers hehe…

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