There was a time when if I heard the names Tim Burton and Johnny Depp I’d have been there opening day; in recent years, not so much. I was pleasantly surprised by “Shadows” however. Probably because I went into it with pretty low expectations.
I always appreciate Burton’s style, whether or not the movie is any good, and here is no exception. The story of a wealthy 18th century playboy cursed by a woman he wronged to be a vampire, than imprisoned underground for 200 years looks great. When Barnabas Collins (vampire Johnny Depp) is unburied in the 1970’s and it’s a world completely foreign to him.
He returns to his family’s mansion and meets his descendants including Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Helena Bonham Carter. He tries to restore his family to their former glory but the witch that cursed Barnabas (Eva Green) is still in town and still a bit perturbed.
The performances here are fine. The story is mediocre. The style is good, though predictable. Everything about this movie says perfectly adequate.
Johnny Depp is a great actor. Tim Burton is a creative director. But I really think these two need to take a break. Get some space, clear their heads, maybe come back together in a few years. The pair has made eight films in the past 22 years, five of those in the past seven years.
“Dark Shadows” ranks somewhere in the middle of those eight. Below is my complete ranking of all Burton/Depp collaborations:
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
- Corpse Bride (2005)
- Ed Wood (1994)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
- Dark Shadows (2012)
- Edward Scissorhands (1990)
- Sleepy Hollow (1999)
- Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Do I need to see “Dark Shadows” again? No. But if you’re bored it’d be worth a redbox.
- Burton Loses His Way in Wonderland (imamovienerd.wordpress.com)