Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Movie Review - Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows

Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bohnam Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Chloë Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath, Ray Shirley, Christopher Lee, Alice Cooper, Jonathan Frid, and more.

Directed by: Tim Burton Based on the Original TV Series by: Dan Curtis Story by: John August and Seth Graham-Smith Screenplay by: Seth Graham-Smith Original Music by: Danny Elfman

Premise: After being cursed by a witch and then trapped in a metal coffin for almost two hundred years, Barnabas Collins returns to Collinwood. He wants to bring the family back to its old prosperity while also acclimating himself to life in 1972. Unfortunately, the witch that cursed him is still around and has other plans for him. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: As actor Johnny Depp does in all things, he puts his own spin into his version of Barnabas Collins. Eva Green was a delicious Angelique. The love/hate/lust relationship between the two main characters was a lot of fun to watch. Michelle Pfeiffer was both the strong head of the Collins family and a little crazy with her huge macramé collection. All the supporting cast did a great job as well. The little touches from Ray Shirley as Mrs. Johnson were hilarious.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The special effects in this film were superb! Those used for the interior of Collinwood Manor towards the end of the film were utterly fantastic. Between the animated wood carvings and Angelique's skin cracking and her interior void, that whole set of scenes was mesmerizing.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Though the script is slanted towards comedy, John August and Seth Graham-Smith are obviously fans of the original TV series. Not only are just about all the characters from the first season of Dark Shadows represented in the film, but most also closely resemble their original counterparts. Several lines used in the film even came straight from the TV show. There are plenty of 'in-jokes' for the fans of the series to enjoy.

The largest changes in the story are to the character of Barnabas himself. Unlike the original, the film's Barnabas doesn't assimilate information on the 20th century over a days' time from his thrall Loomis. Instead, the film's Barnabas must contend and realize the differences between his way of life in the 1800's and the technologically and socially advanced lifestyle of the 1970's. The majority of the humor sprinkled through the film ties to this change.

Barnabas was also made to look like a vampire regardless of whether it was day or night. His claws and the dark circles around his eyes were a giveaway that he wasn't exactly normal. The Barnabas of the TV series had a less difficult time hiding his true nature and could easily pass as a normal human.

And while some of the small details were changed (for example the film's Barnabas didn't get cursed until after his parents' death, while in the TV series his father had been aware of his vampirism and hated him for it), the overall arcs from the original remain the same. Several plot arcs used in the TV series are thrown into this much shorter venue, so there are ghosts, witches, vampires, and werewolves in the mix.

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Though the actual filming location were all in the UK, the creation of a Maine like locale was excellent. Collinsport not only looked like a Maine fishing town, but looked like a 1970's Maine fishing town. 

Collinwood Manor itself was amazing. The secret rooms and compartments were fun and ingenious. The manor entrance and main rooms were fabulous with gorgeous wood decorations. And the little touches of real life touching these rooms and the contrast to the bedrooms which were styled to the tastes of those using them were genius. 

5) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: The clothes and makeup for the 1970's were excellently done. The back story segments also looked correct for the period. 

Conclusion: This was a fun film with a lot for new and old fans to enjoy. For older viewers it will be an awesome trip down memory lane, whether they ever saw the original series or not. Also, listen for the original theme, it's there - and so are shots of waves crashing into the rocks, a Dark Shadows' trademark.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

Latest Month

September 2019
Powered by LiveJournal.com