Screening Room: DARK SHADOWS

(KTSF by Sean Au)

A vampire who has been freed after two hundred years underground becomes the guardian of his descendants.

The year was 1752 when a British family migrates to a seaside town in Maine and builds a fishing empire, so influential that the town of Collinsport is named after the family. The young man in the family, Barnabas (Johnny Depp), is what we would call a playboy. He finally settles with the elegant and demure Josette (Bella Heathcote), incurring the wrath of one of his lovers Angelique (Eva Green). What is unknown is that Angelique is a practicing witch. She causes the death of Josette, turns Barnabas into a vampire, chains and locks him in a coffin buried underground.

Fast forward to 1972, when some construction workers unearth this coffin and free Barnabas. He returns to Collinsport to find the family business in shambles. Barnabas helps his family rebuild the fishing business almost from scratch, but this is not without serious obstacles from the fishing empire which rules Collinsport today. The person behind this empire is none other than Angelique, the undead witch from two centuries back.

This is the eight collaboration between Director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Audiences used to Burton’s bold and quirky strokes in story-telling will not leave disappointed. Depp again successfully gets under the skin of this vampire, creating yet another memorable and fun character.

The characters come from the television series “Dark Shadows” that ran for more than a thousand episodes between 1966 and 1971. From Hollywood,  this 2012 feature version of “Dark Shadows” is creatively original. Burton’s vision is lavish on art direction, production design and special effects. The mixed genres of horror, romance and comedy come together and somehow work, making this an enjoyable movie. Yet, all the elements lack a strong central theme and focus, relegating it to be savored only at a superficial level.

Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars.


Video courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.


(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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