Review: Dark Shadows

I went to see Dark Shadows quite a few days ago now and said I’d blog about it but never got round to doing it. Exams are over now though and Second Year is finished (Hallelujah!) so with a spare hour and a mug (more a like a bowl really) of tea at the ready, I thought I’d get down to it.

The world seems to be unanimous in feeling a little malnourished and ever so slightly deprived after watching Dark Shadows, like the wirey-haired, Burton was using his wizardry to tickle our taste buds without quite quenching our thirst. It was, for me,  as if this film had taken a day trip from the paradoxical macabre-yet-psychedelic depths in which this director’s cinematic offering typically reside and been saturated in sticky-sweet mainstream comforts. A rose-tinted love story and family orientated sentiments seemed a little on the safe side for the lateral thinker we’ve grown to love and his interpretation of a retro, American, Gothic TV series. The narrative was as anaemic as Depp’s vamp complexion, skating on the surface of what could have been a far more haunting and gripping adaptation.

Having said this I was fully entertained throughout. The sex scene between Barnabas (the stunning, Johnny Depp) and his infatuated obsessor, Angelique (the equally beautiful, Eva Green)  who has cursed him to be a Vampire for the rest of his life through the perils of love-fuelled jealousy was hilarious! Imagine your average sex scene but suspended in mid-air, between two subhuman creatures and in time to a Barry White soundtrack. Yes, it’s as bizarre as the description conjures but probably the most memorable sequence. The original Dark Shadows was far less humorous than this take on it but in my opinion, the witty dialogue and positively kitsch soundtrack created the comical value, which was Dark Shadows‘ saving grace. Not forgetting the fantastic costume and make up as well as the saturated colour palette so synonymous with Mr. Burton.

All in all, Dark Shadows was no more ‘dark’ and ‘shadowy’ then Britney Spears‘, Baby One More Time video but still my adoration for the Burton-Depp collaboration and for Helena Bonham Carter‘s astounding ability to speak in any given accent remains untainted. The film may have received much negative and scathing press but from what I’ve seen a majority of this underscores a disappointment and longing for the Burtonesque showcase we’re usually delivered. is this surely nothing more than a backhanded compliment? I probably (alright, definitely) wouldn’t rush out to see it again and I was glad I’d saved money with student discount on my ticket but as a good friend of mine always says, “you win some, you lose some!”

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