Dark Shadows (2012)
Tim Burton and – who else? – Johnny Depp bring us Dark Shadows, based on the cult late ’60’s TV show of the same name. It’s a mix of horror, comedy and drama that is happy to lurk in Gothic darkness, but also offers a campy humour.
Barnabas Collins (Depp), heir to the wealthy Collins clan fortune, makes the mistake of spurning the love of Angelique (Eva Green). Angelique happens to be a witch who curses Barnabas to become a vampire. After being imprisoned for 200 years, Collins is awoken and finds himself in the year 1972. A man – or vampire – considerably out of his time, Barnabas returns to the family home with the intention of restoring the Collins family to both wealth and harmony. Aided by matriarch Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), Barnabas faces Angelique once more; whilst also attempting to help his family and win the love of his life.
Does that sound like fun to you? It did to me. Which is why I’m surprised that some people didn’t dig this retro gem. The mixing of genres may have confused some audiences, but to me Dark Shadows is a delightfully ghoulish confection in the spirit of the Addams Family and The Munsters.
I enjoyed the comedy elements, and there’s enough blood to tick the horror box. Most of all though, I love the 1970’s setting – obviously inspired (again) by Hammer, there are cool cars and an exceptional soundtrack. Alice Cooper even has a cameo as himself, for goodness sake – playing two classic Coop tracks!
Great cast, cool atmosphere – it all adds up to a winner in my book.