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A Shadowy Reflection - A review of Dark Shadows

Updated on May 28, 2013
Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins in this updating of the classic soap opera Dark Shadows
Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins in this updating of the classic soap opera Dark Shadows

Capturing the essence of the original soap opera yet blending it with the just the right touch of humor.

Oridinarily, it perturbs me to see an update of a '60's or '70's TV show that fails to adopt the right touch of reverence to the original source material. This is just such a picture, yet homage to the original tale shows through in droves.

But then again, should we expect anything less from master storyteller Tim Burton and master star Johnny Depp?

Here, in their eighth collaboration, the two have managed to bring back to life the original "Twilight"...oh, for heaven's sake, that is NOT blasphemy. Look at the evidence!

Twilight is basically an overimagined soap opera for the big screen starring vampires. Dark Shadows was a perfectly imagined tv show featuring. yep, you guessed it, vampires.

The main character is Barnabas Collins (Depp), condemned in the 19th century to live for eternity as a vampire after he scorns the love of Angelique, a servant girl who turns out to have a penchant for witchcraft.

He awakens in the 20th century (specifically 1972) to discover a new vitality in the lives of the people around him. Of course Collinsport, the town named after his deceased parents, is now a shambles and controlled by the aforementioned Angelique who has managed to remain a ravishing beauty even after all these years.

To actually even remotely compare this work to the original series would be sacrilege. The original drama had subplot upon subplot and too many character nuances to shake a metaphor at.

So instead, let us rate this tale on it's own merits. Is it entertaining? Absolutely. Would I be willing to see it again? Probably. Comparing it more closely to the original would improve my opinion of it? Probably not.

But all of that aside, the one major problem I had with it is that our main star, who is, at times, an extraordinary good guy also turns out to be a ravenous murderer. But I guess that's who we're supposed to be rooting for in this tale, sordid though it may sound.

Eva Green, who most notably to date, starred opposite Daniel Craig in the Bond thriller Casino Royal, here plays Angelique, the twisted witch who still pines for Barnabas even though he rejects her time and again.

The set-up is already in place for the next installment and I for one am looking forward to it.

Jonathan Frid, who played the original Barnabas Collins recently passed away, and this film is a nice legacy for his most famous role. Hopefully this movie won't have him rolling over in his grave. Or returning to wreak his own brand of havok.

I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

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    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 5 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      Thanx for the positive comments. Much appreciated.

    • OldWitchcraft profile image

      OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

      Nice review. I've read two really negative ones, one from what I think was a professional reviewer that was more like a tantrum than an actual review. The fact that it's getting such strong reactions makes me think it's going to be good. Thanks for posting this... I hope to get a chance to see it soon... I love Depp, Pfeiffer and Dark Shadows - the old original series was amazing on so many levels.

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 5 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Good hub, Bern...voted up, useful, funny, and interesting. I Hopped here, btw. Have not seen it, but the trailers are a hoot! Enjoy your day.