I must admit that I did not knew the old TV-series, with more than 1200 episodes from 1966-171, that inspired this movie. But I do know that some people have complained that the story in this movie is far from in the TV-series. I know that some of these complaints was based on he trailer, not the full flick. So, as these people may me right in their complaints, I find it hard to take complaints based on a trailer seriously.
Having said the above, I couldn’t help comparing ‘Dark Shadows’ to ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’, as of cause there were both directed by Tim Burton, having Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the leading roles as well as being dark comedies. However, it turned out that this movie was far from being as dark as ‘Sweeney Todd’. To put it provocatively, I guess you can say that this one was a US-style black comedy, whereas ‘Sweeney Todd’ was a UK-style black comedy 🙂
The story is a simple one! Some 200 years ago young Barnabas family emigrated from Liverpool to Maine. Quickly his parents got the largest fish industry in the area up and running. They fast became the richest and most popular family in the town and they build a huge castle. Barnabas falls in love with a fair young woman but his parents is against their relationship so the young woman throws herself out from the sinister ‘Widow’s Cliff’ and Barnabas, in his sorrow, throws himself into the abyss himself. But just before doing so a witch, who is also in love with him, throws a Vampire-curse at him, this of cause means that the fall does not kill him … Fast forward 1972, where a competing fish factory has almost bought Barnabas to its knees – no points for guessing which witch is behind this :). Well, a road construction team by accident stumbles over the coffin where Barnabas has been locked in for 200 years. The construction workers sets Barnabas free – huge mistake, and from here on the shenanigans really gets going…
Don’t get me wrong, I did like Depp as the slightly confused vampire Barnaby, sorry, Barnabas and Bonham Carter wasn’t bad as Dr. Julia Hoffman either, but their performances wasn’t some of their best ones. Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and Christopher Lee kind of underperformed, whereas Alice Cooper just performed 😉