Posted May 12, 2012 by William Dunmyer in Tim Burton

Dark Shadows: Funny but Slight

Johnny Depp’s performance is a lot of fun, the parody of the 1970s is consistently funny, and the movie does hang together. But one’s blood never quite gets pumping in Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows.” As is most often the case with a Burton film, the story is woefully under-developed.

It also has to be pointed out that the film bears almost no connection to the 1960s TV series upon which it is based. The characters have the same names, and some of the basic facts are the same (Barnabas is a vampire here). But other than that, Burton and the screenwriters completely go off in their own direction. And it’s mostly comedy that they have on their minds. The TV show, by contrast, was never comedic.

I have no objection to film adaptations that make sharp left turns away from their original story source. But I long for a contemporary adaptation of this gothic TV show that is in keeping with its seriousness. Parodies of horror always leave me fairly uninspired. I like my horror real.

William Dunmyer

William Dunmyer is a lifelong cinephile who fell in love with movies at about the age of 5. He lives in New York City.