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Dark Shadows Blu-ray Review

Tim Burton hits rock bottom with “Dark Shadows.”

“Dark Shadows,” which is based on the long running soap opera television series, revolves around a man named Barnabas Collins who is cursed to live life as a vampire after he scorns a witch (Angelique) in the 1700’s. As if things couldn’t get worse for Barnabas, he is buried alive in a coffin until he finally escapes in 1972. After his new-found freedom, Barnabas goes to his former home where he meets his eccentric descendants. For the rest of the film, there’s plenty of family drama, a forced love story between Barnabas and a governess named Victoria, and more Angelique (who plans to wreak havoc once again).

Immediately after watching “Dark Shadows,” I thought to myself, “Who is this film for?” It’s certainly not for fans of the TV series as it has very little to do with the show at all. If anything, it’s a slap in the face to fans. Likewise, the film really has no appeal to Tim Burton and Johnny Depp admirers as it failed to find an audience in the U.S. and was not well received by critics and audiences alike. So, the question remains, “who is this film for?”

With the success of “Twilight,” it’s probable that Warner Brothers thought they could capitalize on the vampire phenomenon by resurrecting an old vampire franchise with a built in fanbase. Under more capable hands, this film adaptation could have worked and reached a bigger audience, but it was clear from the trailers that Burton’s approach to “Dark Shadows” was all wrong. Tim Burton, who has a long history of directing disastrous remakes, always seems to be more concerned with putting his stamp on things rather than telling a story that will appeal to the fans. As a result, we get a lifeless, humorless “Dark Shadows” adaptation that is more concerned with lame fish out of water jokes, lavish sets and visuals, a climactic monster brawl, and a fishery rival subplot (don’t ask). There’s no heart or, forgive the pun, bite to this story at all.

Summary: If you want a GOOD Tim Burton and Johnny Depp movie, just watch “Ed Wood” again.


As bad as “Dark Shadows” is, the film is still visually impressive (especially in 1.85:1 1080p). You can always count on Tim Burton’s trademark Gothic cinematic visuals to be quality (even if nothing else is).

You can’t ask for a better 5.1 DTS-HD audio track than this. The dialogue, action, and film score is crisp and clear throughout.

* Warner Brothers trailers and ads.
* Ultraviolet Digital Copy and DVD Copy.
* “Focus Points”- A collection of 9 featurettes about The Collins family, Barnabas, Collinsport, the 70’s era, Angelique, Alice Cooper, special f/x, the end battle, and monsters.
* 5 deleted scenes.

September 30, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I wasn’t really sure about this movie when I first saw the previews. After doing a little research I discovered that this used to be a TV show and that’s why the story is told in the 1970’s. I love Johnny Depp and he really is a wonderful actor but I’m not really sure about this movie even now. So I went ahead and rented it through Blockbuster @ Home and the movie should be here in a day or two via mail. Burton hasn’t really wowed me in a long time which is a bad thing because I really loved his stories and the way he told them on screen. Blockbuster is giving me a chance to try the movie out before I decide to buy it and I work for DISH so I’ve been using it for quite some time now. We will see how I feel about the movie once I’ve seen it and I really hope I’m not disappointed. I keep reading everywhere how bad this movie is and that would truly be disappointing. Perhaps Frankenweenie will be the next best thing when it comes to Tim Burton.

    Comment by Kadija | October 9, 2012 | Reply

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