Bottom Line: Oddball director, Tim Burton (his eighth outing here with Depp) works a tight balance between humor, camp and gothic melodrama in this Addam’s-Family-on-acid-like movie. DARK SHADOWS builds a great deal of goodwill in the first two-thirds – its fun, clever, a pleasant big-budget diversion and Depp delivers another compellingly mischievous performance… Unfortunately, it all comes to a screeching, misguided, unfocused, style-over-substance halt in the final act. It mostly entertained but the scattershot ending of this vampire flick drove me batty.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Chloe Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Jackie Earle Haley and Helena Bonham Carter
Directed by: Tim Burton (EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ED WOOD, BATMAN and BEETLEJUICE)
Running time: 113 minutes
Story: 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 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. 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, each harboring their own dark secrets. (Warner Bros. Pictures/Village Roadshow Pictures)