Dark Shadows is another Depp/Burton collaboration so the dark gothic theme is hardly surprising. We are also not stunned to see Helen Bonham Carter, who Burton continually casts in his movies (clearly a husband under the thumb).
Whilst the movie starts smoothly enough, it degenerates rather quickly. Depp does his best to hold this together, but in all honesty his role as Barnabus is more than a little like Jack Sparrow. It’s time for Depp to return to more mainstream roles and show why he is still rated as one of the best actors of his generation; he needs another Donnie Brasco. I don’t think playing Tonto in the up-coming Lone Ranger will offer us anything more than another caricature of Sparrow.
Whilst Helen Bonham Carter and Jackie Earle Haley provide some basic comic relief, much of the script is laboured, focusing mainly on the out-dated speech of Barnabus. Eva Green provides us with the villain of the film, and for the most part delivers an almost convincing performance. Unfortunately, her voice is so unique that if you close your eyes for a second you will think you are watching Bond again.
In fact, from the point that Barnabus is found in 1972, the film starts a steady decline. Then, right at the end of the movie, Burton adds in several twists that just don’t fit, the least of which is the rebellious Carolyn (Chloe Grace Moretz) strangely becoming a werewolf.
Dark Shadows is not a bad film, it’s just not a good film either. It has some funny moments; but also has some sad (in a face palm way) moments too. I don’t expect people to be mentioning this movie in years to come (well not for the reasons Depp/Burton may have wanted).