6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Lost the threads, then lost me,
This review is from: Dark Shadows (+Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This was a daring premise. Take a 1960's soap opera that ran for years and condense it into a 2 hour movie. Tim Burton is a past master of the macabre and Jonny Depp brings all his very considerable talents to bare but in the end, this was just too much for even them.
Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a man from the days of colonial America cursed to be a vampire by the witch he scorned and buried alive (buried undead?) by the townspeople. Flash to 1972 and he is dug up by a construction crew and returns home to find the family has fallen on hard times, as the witch, still around and looking fabulous as a 217 year old business woman, has actively gone after the family as a hobby all these years. Depp sets out to restore the family.
All well and good but the film early on picks up and drops so many potential story threads it gets aggravating. For example the first scenes of the film in the modern world introduce us to the new governess who's going to be teaching the young son of the family, "the loony" who won't accept that his mother, lost at sea is really dead. You think this will be a major plot line but once Depp arrives and revives the family fortune you forget about the governess until you see her standing in a family setting during a montage of goings on. Why did I waste all that time caring about her in the early scenes you ask? Likewise when Depp reveals the lost treasure hidden in the house, to Michelle Pfieffer, the current matriarch, she says they should keep its existence a secret between just them. He agrees. It's implied she doesn't trust her brother in law with the money. But during a montage of the house being extensively remodeled he walks though it clueless to the cost. The problem is the one scene he had before has him complaining about the poor quality of food they must endure and how his son has cut holes in sheets to pretend to be a ghost-he goes from being very aware of cost to clueless about restorations?
It's reported the town is freaked out by several deaths at a construction site- the freshly dug up Barnabas was hungry, but that sort of fades into the background too.
My guess is there's a lot on the cutting room floor or maybe they were hoping for a sequel but after a while it was too much. I started to wonder why should I have any emotion invested in story X if it is going to get dropped 2 scenes later without resolution? And this was fatal to me. If I don't want to get involved why pay attention to the plots? They're just get dropped right? Family fortune, cute governess, troubled boy with ghosts, cunning matriarch and a sexy witch and who cares? Too many threads picked up and dropped. You can't believe they'kll resolve them all, nicely in so short a time.If you don't care enough to get involved then you don't care to watch. I didn't and couldn't be bothered to even finish the film.