Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
people trying to destroy others’ lives because they have been rejected or are jealous
ghosts in the Bible
rebellious teenage daughter
blood in the Bible
alcoholism and drunkenness
Young Victoria is strapped down and receives electroshock treatment.
“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer
|Featuring:||Johnny Depp … Barnabas Collins
Michelle Pfeiffer … Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Helena Bonham Carter … Dr. Julia Hoffman
Eva Green … Angelique Bouchard
Jackie Earle Haley … Willie Loomis
Jonny Lee Miller … Roger Collins
Bella Heathcote … Victoria Winters/Josette DuPres
Chloë Grace Moretz … Carolyn Stoddard
|Producer:||Dan Curtis Productions
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“The legend bites back”
After Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) refused to declare love for his servant Angelique (Eva Green), he soon learns the devastating consequences of his rejection. Unbeknownst to him, Angelique is a witch who not only murders the people Barnabas loves, she denies him his own death, by cursing him to be an immortal vampire. Chained in a coffin, Barnabas remains locked away for nearly two centuries.
Upon his release, he returns to his family home and meets the current remaining family members. Since the still-living Angelique has made it her mission to completely ruin the Collins lineage, the newly awakened Barnabas becomes determined to help restore the family business and adjust to living in the 1970s.
There isn’t much more to the plot, and this is where the film falls into mediocrity. “Dark Shadows” marks Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s eighth film collaboration; the acting and cinematography are excellent… The gothic setting and the first accumulation of scenes are well-made and entertaining. Seeing Barnabas’s reactions to modern society held some charm; however, these points could only carry the film so far. Near the end, it wanes to a rather anticlimactic fight scene, where Barnabas simply stands around. Further marring the film is its objectionable content.
Ghosts and witchcraft are heavily woven throughout the entire movie. Ghosts are shown inhabiting the Collins mansion. One has crabs crawling over her, while the other screams in an attempt to murder someone. Angelique is shown casting spells by adding ingredients to a pot and chanting the required words. One of her spells causes a massive stone to fall onto Barnabas’ parents (the screen blackens on impact). After his parents’ death, Barnabas states that he got into dark magic. Angelique also forces Barnabas’s fiancée to throw herself from a cliff. In his grief, Barnabas, too, falls off the cliff in an attempted suicide, but awakens as a vampire.
Barnabas also kills several people, himself. When first released, he attacks several construction workers to quench his thirst. He’s mostly shown snatching the screaming men off screen to drain them and then dropping them when they’re dead. When Barnabas is double crossed by a female character, he kills her, wraps her body in a sheet and dumps her body into the ocean. In another scene, he is shown apologizing to a group of people, since he has to kill them; only screaming can be heard.
Foul language is around the 17 mark: “d_mn (5),” “b_tch” (2), “sh_t” (3), “a_s,” etc. Profanity includes “Jesus” (2), “Oh Chr_st,” “My G_d” (4), and OMG.
There are some sexual innuendos, as well. Barnabas compliments a woman’s fertile hips and confuses a teenager for a hooker. Barnabas talks about suckled “teats.” Barnabas and the family have a lengthy conversation about balls. While he believes he’s talking about dances, they obviously think otherwise. A female psychiatrist asks Barnabas if he knows about patient/doctor confidentiality. When he asks her to enlighten him, she then bends down, heavily implying oral sex.
Most of the sexual content comes from Angelique. Throughout the film she wears short dresses and low-cut outfits. She tells Barnabas that she’ll make him love her by giving him her body. She sensuously rubs him and, at one time, put his hand on her breast. They sleep together and are shown throwing each other across the room, rolling around, and Angelique deeply scratches Barnabas’s back. Sadly, there are a lot more instances of debauchery between Angelique and Barnabas. For instance, she is shown taking off her red panties and placing it over Barnabas’s face and nose.
There are several kissing scenes. Barnabas and his love interest kiss in about 4 scenes. A boy’s father tells him to guard the coat room, while he and the coat attendant spend time inside. While there, the girl tries a drug. They then kiss, and he gets on top of her.
I don’t personally recommend “Dark Shadows”. The great majority of humorous scenes can be found in the theatrical trailers. I wouldn’t say that Depp and Burton’s work here is a complete failure, but it is definitely not their best collaboration and quite high in the objectionable content.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.