When I was a kid, my brother, dad and I used to watch old television shows. As I said in my Three Stooges review, we used to wake up early and stay up late for marathons of television shows. We watched everything from the Original Adams Family to the old cartoon Super Chicken, and one of the shows I was most fond of was Dark Shadows. I first heard about the movie at Comic Con International 2010 and since I am a massive Tim Burton fan I had to see the remake. Its not that I didn’t like it but if I wasn’t so fond of the television show, I don’t believe I would have liked it as much as I do.
Dark Shadows is about a man named Barnabas Collins, a very wealthy man from the 1700’s who is cursed by a witch who is madly in love with him. He becomes a vampire, is locked in a coffin and buried for 200 years by the towns folk. He is finally uncovered by a construction crew in the year 1970 and he finds his family have been thrown into poverty by the same witch who turned him into the monster he is. Now he is determined to fix his broken family and restore his family’s name.
The movie itself was not altogether bad, it was extremely well made (as most Tim Burton films are), and the acting was phenomenal but there was just something off about it. The first thing I noticed when I saw the movie was that the make-up was not very good, half the time you could tell that the shading on Barnabas’ cheeks was there! It was supposed to make him look gaunt but the person did not blend enough to make it look natural. Having great respect for the make-up crews that work on Tim Burton movies but this one was a hit and miss. The make up was more for a stage production, rather than a movie. I liked the costumes, even though the movie had a dark tone, the colors were still bright and made a great impact in the movie. The sets were beautiful, they kept the Dark Shadow look while still giving it a Tim Burton feel.
Now on to the acting and story, I have to give major credit to Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and Chloe Grace Moretz who played Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Angelique Bouchard and Carolyn Stoddard, respectively. Their performances made the movie worth it for me, they captured their characters and made them their own in the process. Now for the story, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a TV show to movie flop big time and yet, while this one had it flaws, it didn’t fail. I believe that this was a good idea but there was too much going on. It was like they were trying to fit half the television show into a two hour movie. Many things were poorly explain and didn’t really make much sense unless you had seen the television show. While it was decent attempt it simply fell short. I also was very interested in the fact that it was funny, I remember that the show was not very funny (at least to me), it stayed at a very dark pace. This movie had a strange mixture of both, which gave it an odd tone, that I am still not quite sure about.
Overall the movie was very good, it entertained me and brought back some good memories. I hope that there will be either a new reboot of the television show or another movie, it would be nice if Tim Burton could correct the mistakes he made with the first one.