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Old 05-13-2012, 04:18 PM

DARK SHADOWS (2012) Directed by Tim Burton. Loose adaptation of the great horror-themed television daytime soap opera from the late 60ís & early 70ís centering around tortured vampire Barnabas Collins (the superb modern-day horror icon Johnny Depp) who re-emerges from an early grave in 1972 after being chained & buried alive for 200 years. Resurrecting his love-hate relationship with the evil, sexy witch Angelique (Eva Green in her best role to date) who cursed him with vampirism, Barnabas also pursues his reincarnated lost love Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcoate) and reconnects with his modern-day descendants in the eerie coastal town Collinsport, Maine, passing himself off as a distant cousin from England. UPSIDE: Depp totally nailed the role created by the late-great Jonathan Frid and shared electrifying chemistry with Eva Greenís hotter than hell bitchy villainess; among the supporting cast, Michelle Pfeiffer & Chloe Grace Moretz fared the best as troubled mother & daughter duo Elizabeth & Carolyn Stoddard, as did newcomers Gulliver McGrath (as David Collins) and the afore-mentioned Bella Heathcoate, both of whom displayed great promise as young actors to watch; the Gothic art deco-early 70ís set design combo was classic; the sharp, irreverent dialogue perfectly matched the cool, hip, stylish vibe that was prevalent throughout the movie; the terrific opening sequence depicting the Collins familyís back story was an effective prologue; the kick-ass trippy 70ís soundtrack was a major asset; and the double twist ending left me wanting more (which is usually a good thing). DOWNSIDE: Every single one-liner, punchline, in-joke and culture clash 70ís reference was already spoiled in the filmís TV spots & trailers; three pivotal characters portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller (Roger), Jackie Earle Haley (Willie) and especially the great Helena Bonham Carter (Julia) were wasted in what could have been meatier roles; Depp & Heathcoate shared zero chemistry & seemed more like a father-daughter duo as compared to his palpable connection with Eva Green; the ghosts looked like something out of a Disney movie; the film wasnít scary at all and played out as a horror-themed comedy rather than the opposite; and Tim Burtonís direction seemed disconnected and was mediocre at best. VERDICT: Recommended only to fans of Burton/Depp collaborations, the original series, the early 90ís reboot series & horror-comedy hybrids. Nowhere near the same league as SWEENEY TODD or SLEEPY HOLLOW but for sentimental reasons Iím giving this entertaining remake an A-
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