The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, a.k.a. Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop down in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett. Based on the hit Broadway musical.
Helena Bonham Carter,
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 ... Written by
Warner Bros. Pictures
Angelique built up a rival fishery, Angel Bay Seafood, to bring down the Collins. This was done by Burke Devlin in Dark Shadows (1966)'s first season. See more »
In 1776, the American Revolution was in full swing. At the same time Maine was the name of a cultural region, which was legally part of Massachusetts rather than a separate colony/state in its own right (and remained so until 1820). It's odd that neither of these facts came up at any point during the 1776 part of the story. Surely they would have merited at least one line apiece at some point. See more »
It is said that blood is thicker than water. It is what defines us, binds us... curses us.
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The opening credits feature Victoria Winters en route to Collinwood, repeating her name to herself ("My name is Victoria Winters..."), while the prologue featured a shot of waves breaking onto a cliffshore. This is a reverse of the Dark Shadows (1966) opening, where the prologue featured Victoria Winters traveling and the title sequence was of the waves breaking upon seashore scree. See more »
A featurised reimagining of a TV soap opera, Tim Burton returns with a gruesome dark comedy about a XIXth Century vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), the entrepreneurial creator of a fishing empire in the town of Collinwood, who is unwittingly released from his eternal coffin prison. His bloody urges must be quenched, hence blood splatters, but still Barnabas is an eternal with honour and a strong attachment to family ties. Hence he decides to live with his descendants in his family mansion, populated by Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer), her daughter Carolyn (Chloë Grace Moretz), her brother-in-law Roger (Jonny Lee Miller), nephew David (Gulliver McGrath) as well as an assorted crowd of alcoholic psychiatrist Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), caretaker Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) and babysitter Victoria Wnters (Bella Heathcote). The latter bearing a remarkable resemblance to Barnabas's long departed beloved and ultimate cause of his accursed state. To his surprise the Collins fortune has largely fallen into disregard, whilst the town's fishing business is currently overrun by Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), the witch responsible for turning him into a vampire.
Admittedly an immense Tim Burton fan "Dark Shadows" is sadly his worst picture apart from "Planet of the Apes". Possibly revisiting the same actors has strained his ingenuity a bit, as well as caused the actors in force to go through familiar motions. As such Johnny Depp seems like a mold of other Depp-Burton characters, which is further not helped by the Depp and co's dry delivery of dry humour, which makes this dark tale thoroughly humourless. Knowing everyone in the cast is brimming with talent makes the overall dourness of proceedings even more striking. Depp seems emotionless beyond interest, Carter struggles to imbue any presence, Green is an empty if pretty shell, Haley barely registers, while Moretz comes off whiny and pretentious. The story wiggles around trying to bring together a coherent plot, but instead seems like a poorly glued together sequence of scenes of varying quality, which fail to either construct a story or instill any sense of affinity towards any on-screen character.
Conversely Burton's sense of glorious Gothic atmosphere is at its best with set designs and rummaging shots quintessential stuff and possibly some of the best in his career. However thrown into such a detached and pointless story it just seems like an immense waste of possibilities.
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