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Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows

October 2nd, 2012

Price: CDN$ 4.99 (CDN$ 24.95)

(as of 2013-01-06 13:07:37 PST)

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Released: 2012-10-02

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11 new from CDN$ 4.99
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(as of 2013-01-06 13:07:37 PST)

Dark Shadows by Warner

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Every movie Tim Burton makes is a haunted mansion: a Gothic pile full of hidden passageways, veiled secrets, and ghosts swinging from the chandeliers. Collinwood, the family mansion in Dark Shadows, is therefore a Burton playground, and the proper centerpiece for this daffy adaptation of the cult '60s TV soap opera. For Burton's version, the angst-ridden vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp–were you really expecting someone else?) is exhumed after a 200-year burial at the hands of local witch and disappointed lover Angelique (Eva Green, Casino Royale). The year is 1972, so–after the nicely antique prologue and the suitably creepy arrival of fresh-faced nanny Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) to Collinwood–the film shifts gears to allow for campy gags about Barnabas and his initial encounters with McDonald's signs and women's lib. Burton is incorrigible about that blend of Mad magazine-style spoofery and his very real affection for the gauzy tropes of horror movies, and while Dark Shadows rarely solves the disconnect between those tones, it certainly is silly and fun on its own terms. It's too bad the movie forgets about certain cast members for long stretches, because in their various ways Michelle Pfeiffer (as the Collins family patriarch), Chloe Grace Moretz, and Jonny Lee Miller seem very much in the spirit of things, and Helen Bonham Carter (as Collinwood's psychiatrist in residence) is ready to get off the leash. Depp, not surprisingly, is a stitch; he actually does come close to wedding the absurd one-liners with a trace of genuine romantic torment. Toss in a musical performance by Alice Cooper (“Ugliest woman I've ever seen,” murmurs a confused Barnabas), and you've got a movie that doesn't particularly hold together but does provide a weird amount of diversion. –Robert Horton

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