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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dark Shadows

Based on a Television Series back in 1966, Dark Shadows was a huge success back in their time. With approximately 1200 episodes on its entire run from 1966-1971, Dark Shadows became immensely popular after the introduction of Barnabas Collins in the said series. Shown everyday for 30 minutes, Dark Shadows became very popular with its Gothic presentation and twisted plots that surrounded the series. This is the most difficult challenge for its filmmakers: to make a 5 year series compressed in a two-hour feature film without leaving the unfamiliar audience confused.

Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is a wealthy heir to one of the founding families of Collinsport, Maine. Known to be a playboy of their county, he had various escapades, however, he was mistaken to play around with a witches heart that eventually placed him in a dreadful curse as a vampire. Locked in a tomb for 196 years, he was freed in 1972 where he once claim what was rightfully his and to find once again love that was lost for more than two centuries.

Johnny Depp once again collaborated with eccentric director, Tim Burton in an another eccentric film about a vampire lost in time and love. Depp was again a gem in this movie, delivering his usual weird self, typical of his movies like Edward Scissorhands, The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland and Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is only a few to the other eccentric films he made. His comic timing as a vampire who is new to the technology that 1971 has is absolutely perfect and adorable. The Shakespearean dialogue delivered by Depp was adequate enough to put justice to his character as a playboy debonair. The direction and production design is beyond expectations as Burton delivers what is expected of him. What made the film not to stand out is the messy plot. It was all over the place. Viewers may be confused on what has happened with the other characters. Some of them are left out and becomes under-developed in the entire film. The climax was even a blur and sign of lazy scriptwriting.

This is the main problem of the film: to compress a 5-year series in two hours. There are a lot of subplots that were left uncovered and this makes the viewers to question more of the character. Though the acting and direction is in its ante, it was the plot that pulled the movie down. There were a lot of great and funny scenes in the film but when we went out of the movie theater, we are still left unsatisfied.

GRADE: C+


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