What I'm Watching: Dark Shadows
So many movies this month I want to see! But for now, I am stuck in the land of DVDs, and I just watched the theatrical remake of Dark Shadows.
Now, I am no fan of the original show. My first experience with it was when NBC tried a remake in...the early 90s? I really don't remember it well.
But I have seen a few episodes, thanks to Scifi Channel and such, so I am not completely clueless.
I was a little concerned at the looks of it from trailers, though. I love me some camp, and if you're a fan of Dark Shadows, you gotta be one too. But those trailers seemed a little too much, maybe because ALL they were showing was the campier bits.
But what I got, was a pleasant surprise.
The first twenty minutes of the movie were especially enjoyable. They set a mood and a tone, and the voiceover did a great job. I really enjoyed the whole setup. It really helped draw you in.
But then...the camp began. It wasn't TOO bad though. They didn't dump it in like the trailer would make you think. It was there, and it did get a bit cringeworthy at times, but for the most part they held back on it for only some moments here and there. It never quite overtook the plot.
A random note is that I loved them giving Christopher Lee a few moments he is THE campy horror movie Dracula, and while he didn't play a vampire here, it was nice to see him given a role. He's the grandfather of Hammer horror, and DS owes a lot to them. And them to Hammer, I believe.
The cast is actually good all around. Depp gives a great performance, as expected. He feels perfectly cast as this man out of time, and he delivers the overblown language perfectly. His look before becoming a vampire is actually MORE creepy, because of how boyish he looks. But everyone does their job well, and are fun to watch.
The movie is VERY Tim Burtony, but that's to be expected. It has his usual themes and tropes, and if you're a fan of Burton, there's a lot to like here. It is a visually entrancing movie.
It's not really until the last 15, 20 minutes when the movie really falls apart. They seem like they are in such a rush to finish up the plot, and if it was just Barnabas and one or two others, it wouldn't be so bad. But they had to bring almost EVERY character into it, and then reveal all their little troubles, how Angelique is involved in all their sucky problems, and it just becomes too much, in too little time. You could not catch your breath as the weight of too much plot crushes everyone.
But overall, it's a fun movie that everyone had fun making, and while it gets a bit cheesier than it needs to be, it is pretty damned watchable and entertaining.