Film Adaptation Sucks Life Out of Dark Shadows

By Brittany Weaver

With today’s teenagers lusting after vampires, May 11 was the perfect time for director Tim Burton to release his newest movie. “Dark Shadows” is a remake of the 1966 dramatic soap opera. The movie began in the late 1500s, Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), the wealthy son to the Collins empire breaks the heart of the beautiful maid, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) and then falls for Josette DuPres (Bella Heathcote). In her jealousy she bewitches Josette to walk off a cliff into the rocky waters below, Angelique then kills Barnabas’ parents, and curses Barnabas to be come a vampire. Still he doesn’t love her and in her rage she rounds up the people of Collinsport and brings them to Collins Wood Manor. They then capture Barnabas and lock him in a coffin.

Two hundred years later, Barnabas sees how far his family has fallen and takes it upon himself to bring the Collins family out of the slums of Collinsport. However, an old enemy is prowling. Angelique, now Angie, became an immortal witch who created Angel Bay, the rival shipping company. She is still bent on destroying Barnabas and his family by any means necessary, and still trying to gain his love.

Green, who plays Angelique, is more accustomed to serious acting. In the serious moments she excelled, but when it came to performing the funny moments, she fell far from her norm.

Playing opposite Green is Johnny Depp. Depp’s earlier performances in Tim Burton films, such as “Alice in Wonderland,” were funny and entertaining. However, in “Dark Shadows,” his performance was dull and common. Depp didn’t fully show his inner Barnabas Collins.

Helena Bonham Carter plays the often drunk psychologist to David Collins. Doctor Hoffman is the complete opposite to Carter’s normal roles. She is mostly used to crazy and weird characters, such as the Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland.” However, in “Dark Shadows” she is a sophisticated doctor who is into odd medical actions. She is used to comedy, but even that previous experience didn’t show.

Burton’s remake of “Dark Shadows” was nothing more than a poor attempt at comedy, a bloody flop of flat humor, and so many confusing, hard to follow twists and turns. There was no cheering at the end of the movie, no hushed whispers of excitement or admiration. “Dark Shadows” should have stayed a nostalgic soap opera and not a new day Gothic comedy.

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