This week I’m here to save you money. Yes - dinero, cashola, money that could better spent, I don’t know, on a pack or two of cigarettes. I’m serious – don’t go near this one. Don’t pay for it at the movie theatre, don’t pick it up at the “Redbox” or whatever that is in a few months, even tell you cable or satellite company in a year or so, “no thanks”.
Based on a dopey soap opera from the 1960’s that may still have a few cult fans, if they are still alive, Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are once again teamed up, and this time have brought you maybe their worst.
The only mildly interesting part is at the beginning when Depp, playing Barnabas Collins, narrates the family history. Back in 1760 the Collins family migrated from
Come 1972, he’s dug up and wants to start living his life again. From there, it’s an unmitigated disaster. The writing is awful – not funny, not suspenseful, just dreadful.
The remaining Collins family members who still live in the mansion include Michelle Pfeiffer, who really must have needed the payday. She’s there with six others –and good luck for a while trying to figure out how these people are related. Oh, Helena Bonham Carter is one of them, playing a psychiatrist because the little boy of the family has mental issues. I felt bad for her too – walking around with a drink in your hand all the time must get tiresome. A waste of a fine talent.
As for Depp, he plods around with the fake British accent and the monotone delivery, desperately looking for anything funny to do or say. The two hundred year old “slumber” jokes only take you so far. What was quite weird was when he chomps down on some people every now and then to satisfy his vampire needs.
His “foe”, the witch, played by Eva Green, is still around in 1972, so there is where the ultimate battle lies (she still loves him), but you won’t care by then. To kill time, we are constantly reminded it’s 1972 with a soundtrack of golden oldies. The Carpenters, “Knights in White Satin”, whatever they could pull out. At one point, so out of things for Barnabas to say, he actually quotes a line from the 1974 hit “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band. I’m sure I was the only in the theatre who noticed that (there were only about 10 of us anyway), but it annoyed me because it’s supposed to be 1972.
Remember my rule – when a movie stinks, you’ll be bothered by any little thing you might let pass otherwise. “Dark Shadows” should have been a January dump off, strange it arrives in May. Stay away – stay very far away. I give it a “2”.