By Penny McLean

May 10, 2012 08:42 AM EST


Dark Shadows Theatrical Review

Dark Shadows, the latest film collaboration between Tim Burton (Alice In Wonderland, Beetlejuice) and Johnny Depp (Pirates In The Caribben, Rango) is based on the 1960's television Soap Opera of the same name.
It tells the story of Barnabas Collins (a 200-year-old vampire, played by Johnny Depp) whose family founded the town of Collinsport. When the town witch, named Angeliqe Bouchard (Eva Green, Casino Royale, Camelot), is unable to win his heart, she curses him to suffer as an immortal vampire.
Fast forward 198 years to 1972; and the Collins family is now in ruins. The evil witch, Angelique, now runs the town, and it is up to Barnabas to help restore the family name and rid the town of the diabolical Angelique.
If you liked Beetlejuice, then you will really be a fan of this film.  Tim Buton's Dark humor is apparent throughout the entire film -- from the set pieces to all of the costumes. Tim Burton made the set designers watch old vampire films from the 1970's to make sure they paid attention to every detail. Unable to find an actual town that the crew was happy with, they ended up building the entire town of Collinsport on a soundstage.
Johnny Depp was on the top of his game. Expertly paying tribute to the original dark shadows character Barnabus Collins (played by Jonathan Frid) while adding his own mannerisms and gestures to explore the character in a way that only he can. 
Helena Bonham Carter (Fight Club, Alice In Wonderland), who is also no stranger to Tim Burton films, explores the role of the family psychologist with a dark side. While she does not get that much screen time in the film, there is no doubt she will be back for more if there is a sequel.
Rounding out the cast was the ever-lovely, Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Return, Stardust), Jack Earl Herly (Watchmen, A Nightmare on Elm Street),  Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, Let me In), as well as Gulliver McGrath (Hugo).
Though not in 3D, the special effects used in the film were top notch and immersed you in the world of the Collins' Family.
While not the same caliber as Marvel's The Avengers, it is still is a great film to kick off the summer 2012 season.
Also, be sure to look for cameos from the original cast in the big party scene (as well as a cameo from 70's Rock Star icon, Alice Cooper).
For all you Dark Shadows fans out there, I give Tim Burton's Dark Shadows 3 out of 5 fangs.

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 113 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

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