Release Date ~ 5/11/12
Director ~ Tim Burton
Starring ~ Johnny Depp, Helen Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Eva Green
Screenplay ~ Seth Grahame Smith
Studio ~ Warner Brothers
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas has the world at his feet -- or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy...until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard. A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive.
Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman, to help with her family troubles.
Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth's ne'er-do-well brother, Roger Collins; her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard; and Roger's precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins.
As a lifelong Tim Burton fan, whenever he has a movie coming out I get really excited. The excitement will usually include endless hours of clip-watching, cast researching, and a couple trips to the costume store. His latest masterpiece, Dark Shadows. Though I've heard many a person criticize the daylight out of it (which is fitting, as it is Dark Shadows), I thought the film was amazing.
The screenplay and story were stellar. Written by Seth Grahame-Smith, the creative genius behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it was perfectly paced. With the exact right mixture of comedy and drama, it will have you laughing your face off, then biting your nails in suspense in the period of a few minutes.
I found it a lot funnier then I thought it was going to be. Though almost all Burton productions have an edge of dark humor, I found Dark Shadows more comical then his earlier productions. Though some may argue the jokes were all for cheap laughs and lacked depth, I thought they were all pretty witty!
The entire cast was stellar. Though when I first heard about the movie I didn't see Johnny Depp making a very good Barnabas Collins, Burton adapted the role in a way that was perfect for him. He is a comic genius! You can tell how much he puts into every role he does, no matter what kind of role he's playing. After watching Eva Green (Angelique) for a season of Camelot, I am more then confident in her ability to play a villain. As the seductive witch that cursed Barnabas to being a vampire, Dark Shadows was no exception. Helen Bonham Carter made a perfect batty psychiatrist that just gave me the creeps!
Funny and dark, Dark Shadows was one of the best films of the year so far. Burton is a master of the weird!