Now before all the spooky kids who shop at Hot Topic start messaging me, let me explain. I recently watched Dark Shadows, even though I really REALLY didn’t want to. I’ve seen some of the original soap opera, I’ve seen the 1990 remake, I’ve seen some of the movies, so I felt like I had to. Barnabas Collins is always hideous and the fact that he was played by Johnny Depp made my heart swoon. But in this movie he’s wearing hideous pancake makeup. You can tell it’s makeup, too, because it’s stark white and not even blended in well.
So whatever, Barnabas has been ugly before, I can deal with him being gross again. But one of the first songs playing in the movie is The Moody Blue’s “Nights in White Satin.” It’s a great song, but it’s out of place in this movie, for the opening scene of nanny Victoria on a train going over what she’s going to say when she arrives at Collin’s manor. And actually, the entire soundtrack is a little off, like they picked out a few songs from the ‘70s and threw them in there without a second thought. They even did a whole bit about Alice Cooper being a chick, which has been done many times before, and in other movies.
And the whole thing was gimmcky and haphazardly thrown together. There’s Barnabas brushing his teeth when he has no reflection, there’s a weird sex scene where he and a witch roll around on the ceiling, and oh yeah, one of the Collins children is a werewolf. It has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but hey, why not, right? Barnabas can also go out into the daylight because vampires can do that now, he just needs a pair of good shades. Pretty soon our vampires aren’t going to drink blood, aren’t going to give interviews, and will go frolicking in fields while listening to the Grateful Dead.
Dark Shadows is one of those things that still has a cult following, and people waiting for new stuff to come out. The original series is dated, with sets falling down, and inconsistencies in the storyline. The 1990s version was cancelled because of the Gulf War. We’ve been waiting over a decade for something new, and this is what we get? And though both Burton and Depp claim to be Dark Shadows fans themselves, this movie is just shameful. How is this the same guy that made Edward Scissorhands and the Nightmare Before Christmas?