Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dark Shadows

UK Release: 11th May 2012
Watched in the Cinema: Wednesday 30th May 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Runtime: 1hr 53mins
Tagline: Every Family Has Its Demons
IMDb Plot 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...

My Review: More cinematic than any film I’ve seen lately, Dark Shadows has a fantastic old-school theatrical feel. It was also much more complex than I was expecting which many an interesting (and funny) twist to keep you hooked until the end.
However the star of the show for me has to be the soundtrack. As Nights in White Satin played over the beautifully shot titles sequence I knew I was in for a delicious treat and the 60s/70s music continued throughout keeping the energy going. Music was often used to add a huge amount of humour as it contrasted nicely with the fantastically ridiculous gothic fantasy plot. 
It definitely had that Tim Burton gloss and the various time periods were vividly done with attention to detail. I remember thinking while watching that it’s the little details that make this romp so enjoyable to watch - and that’s still true I believe. The subtle (or not so subtle!) hilarious one-liners and superb acting from the stellar cast piece together to make a fabulously fun film that I’m looking forward to watching again. My only concerns were that perhaps it was a little raunchy for a 12A film - not that I’m complaining! - and that while the fun’s all well and good it would have been nice to see a bit more emotion and depth to the characters. But with everything going on (and believe me there’s a lot going on that the trailer doesn’t even begin to cover!) and the great 19th century vampire meets the 70s concept it was certainly a good old-fashioned fun film!
Score: 8.5/10

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