Excerpt: For years, Johnny Depp wanted to make a feature film version of Dark Shadows , Dan Curtis’ gothic horror soap opera. Once he recruited frequent collaborator and BFF Tim Burton to direct, it seemed as though everything was in place to make a great, quirky horror-comedy. But for a passion project that was made with nothing but enthusiasm and the best intentions, the resulting movie is curiously flat.
Excerpt: When it comes to notable director/actor combos, I can think of only a few that really work. Sure we all know of DeNiro and Scorcese, perhaps Tony Scott and Denzel Washington, but I don’t think anyone will ever top Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. These two have collaborated on (as of this writing) on eight films, for your reference here they are: Edward Scissorhands , Ed Wood , Sleepy Hollow , Charlie and the Chocolate Factory , Corpse Bride , Sweeney Todd , and Alice In...
Conclusion: While Tim Burton's movies are always worth a look, Dark Shadows is a little more fun than usual. Ironically one of the director's lighter films, this gothic comedy amuses consistently without quite adding up to something altogether satisfying. In the grand scheme of contemporary big budget cinema, though, it is more entertaining and stylish than many efforts.
Conclusion: I don’t think this one of Tim Burton’s best films (or Johnny Depp’s for that matter), but I enjoyed it and the cast in their roles. I think a lot of people didn’t like the mix of horror and comedy and would have preferred for the film to focus on just one of them, but I like the quirkiness of the movie and Burton’s customary dark humor. Burton assembled a fantastic cast and all of his usual regulars which is always nice to see too.
Conclusion: Known for his carnival-like gothic sensibilities, director Tim Burton tackles a personal childhood favorite in this remake of a cult TV series of the late 1960s. 'Dark Shadows' features another great performance from Johnny Depp and a strikingly memorable visual design, but the script and storyline is a choppy, uneven, and unfocused thematic mess of love, jealousy, family bonds, and the supernatural, making Collinsport an amusing one-time visit.
Conclusion: Dark Shadows doesn't fall flat on its face but it doesn't lord over other horror comedies either. At its best it's a return to form of sorts for Burton, who hasn't quite indulged in his particular breed of gothic fairy tale storybooking in some time, and for Depp, who does quirky and darkly eccentric better than any A-lister in Hollywood.
Conclusion: John Cassavetes' Shadows is a landmark American film which started an important movement that influenced countless actors and directors. The film is now available on a handsome Blu-ray in the United Kingdom courtesy of the BFI. Let's hope that Shadows , as well as the rest of the films from the BFI's The John Cassavetes Collection , will soon be available on Blu-ray in North America. They belong in the library of every serious film aficionado. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.