Genre: Gothic, drama, comedy
Running Time: 1 Hour 53 Minutes
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz, Gulliver McGrath
Synopsis: “In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles. Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis, played by Jackie Earle Haley, and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote” (Warner Bros. Picture).
Verdict: Seems like Tim Burton is obsolete and has gone mainstream. What happens when a classic dark gothic soap opera is remade into a comedy to appeal to the younger generation? A complete rubbish, even for someone like myself, who has never ever seen the original Dark Shadows series before. And after I did watch a couple of its episodes, I hated the film even more. Unfaithful and absolutely no respect at all for the classic. If you thought Alice in Wonderland (2010) was bad, this is even worse. Danny Elfman‘s music, too, sounds insignificant and lazily composed. The only positives are the acting performance, the visual effects and the guest appearance by Alice Cooper. The film looks very promising at the beginning as it kicks off in style and then it just becomes another heartless, profit-driven, major boobage movie that’s filled with simple humour and a really lame ending.
Here, Johnny Depp reminds me of… Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance‘s frontman.
Malaysian censorship: Only the massive make-out scene is cut.
Rating: 2 / 5
[SPOILER SECTION BEGINS HERE]
Corniest scene: Carolyn (Chloe Moretz) is revealed to be a werewolf at the climax and tells her mother, “Yes, mum, I’m a werewolf. Let’s not make a big deal out of it.” She says “woof” sarcastically before attacking the villain, Angelique (Eva Green).
The corny ending: “Now what are you gonna do, David?” asks Angelique, confident that no one could stop her from destroying the Collins family at the moment. David (Gulliver McGrath) replies, “Not me, but my mum.” A female ghost appears and screams at Angelique till she flies up the ceiling and fall, injuring her and completely disabling her. Angelique is forced to give up and has his last words with Barnabas (Johnny Depp). As she dies, she cracks her chest open and gives her heart to him, which eventually becomes dust. Barnabas runs to the cliff to save Victoria (Bella Heathcote) but she jumps off anyway. Barnabas jumps along with her and manages to turn her into a vampire right before they hit the rocks. They both kiss and before the closing credits roll, Dr. Julia (Helena Bon Carter) is revealed to be still alive underwater, presumably turned into a vampire as well after Barnabas’ attempt to kill her earlier. Clap clap clap?
[SPOILER SECTIONS ENDS HERE]
Special thanks to Warner Bros Pictures and Nuffnang for the invitations to the press screening.