Dark Shadows (2012 – Cinema)

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry… however, it is with sincere regret that I must now kill all of you”

I’ve heard a lot of bad reviews about Tim Burton’s new movie ‘Dark Shadows’ but I thought the trailer made it look sufficiently funny to give it a punt.  I found many of the negative points to be accurate but walked out thinking it didn’t really matter because I’d been throughly entertained for 2 hours.  The film is based on the cult sitcom of the same name following 200-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) as he struggles to cope with life in the 1970s and to connect with what’s left of his family.  ‘Dark Shadows’ biggest flaw seems to stem from Tim Burton spending time filming the characters and scenes he likes best rather than focusing on those that would make the film hang together.  So since he found considerable sexual chemistry between Depp’s suave Vampire and the seductive wicked-Witch played by Eva Green, Burton has her on-screen so much, that the actual love-interest played by Bella Heathcote, well… doesn’t interest.

Like the otherwise awful ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ franchise, this relies heavily on the magnetic charm of Johnny Depp’s performance and he brings out howls of laughter from the audience every moment he’s on-screen.  Depp has a rapid fire series of gags about his confusion with modern times and morals with lines like “Fifteen, and no husband? You must put those birthing hips to good use at once, lest your womb shrivel up and die!” or when he rips out the back of a TV shouting “Reveal yourself, tiny songstress!”.  ‘Dark Shadows’ leaps all over the place tonaly, from those moments of humour to shots of graphic violence, then onto fairly rude sexual scenes.  So given that this is a 12A, parents beware, if you take your 9-year-old kid along they may ask you about the scene in the gothic crypt where Eva Green slips off her bright red panties and wraps them around Johnny Depp’s face before chaining him in a coffin… to presumably sniff them for all eternity!

‘Dark Shadows’ looks every cent of the $150 million that Burton spent on it with the sets, costumes and CGI all looking stunning.  The creepy effect at the end involving Eva Green’s skin has to be seen to be believed.  Sadly this big crazy fun-house of a movie runs out of steam in the final quarter which Burton attempts to cover up with big explosions, guns and an utterly superfluous Werewolf subplot.  However I urge you to go see ‘Dark Shadows’, you may spot 100 things wrong but you’ll probably be laughing to much to care.

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