My I’m In Love With Johnny Depp ‘Dark Shadows’ Movie Review

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are back together again for their 8th collaboration, a reinterpretation of Dark Shadows, a very popular soap opera that aired from 1966 – 1971.  I think it goes without saying that I have been very excited ever since I heard Burton and Depp were working on this project together.  As a child I would watch the soap opera wishing that I would grow up to be a vampire.  Now Burton and Depp have brought back a cult classic for the younger generation to enjoy, but with a different twist on it.  Being a fan of the original series I have to admit I wasn’t too sure how I would like the humor in it, but once again the dynamic duo did not disappoint me.  I know I have said this before but one of the greatest enjoyments I get out of Johnny Depp’s acting is his facial expressions.  I love that he puts his heart and soul into each character he becomes.  You will find Barnabas drawing you in, sinking his fangs into your neck and holding you there.  In my opinion, Johnny owned this movie.  He took command of every scene he was in.  He’s not only very captivating as a vampire, but he has also renewed my dream of becoming a vampire when I grow up.

In 1752 the Collins family set sail from Liverpool, England to America.  They built a successful fishing business.  Life is good for the Collins family, until Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), a young bachelor/playboy, betrays the love of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), an evil witch.  Angelique takes vengeance on him, but death would have been too good for him.  Scorned, she turns him into the undead, a vampire, and curses the Collins family.  Barnabas was entombed by Angelique and the town people to spend eternity alone.  You are going to love to hate Angelique as she really is an evil witch.  However, she’s  every bit as beautiful as she is mean and nasty.

Two hundred years later, Barnabas is unearthed by construction workers.  The year is 1972 and boy have things changed.  It’s hilarious watching this blood covered vampire walk through town confused, not understanding the things he is seeing.  Barnabas makes his way back to the manor only to find it run down and neglected.  The manor is occupied by his distant dysfunctional relatives, and psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), hired by Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) to help with the family issues.  And boy are there ever a lot of them!  Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote) has just been hired as a nanny for David Collins (Gulliver McGrath).  Victoria has her own dark secrets that she is hiding as well.  She also becomes Barnabas’ love interest.  Victoria seems to be in and out of scenes.  She’s not one of my favorite characters, but the lucky girl does get to kiss Mr. Depp.  She also plays Josette DuPres, the woman that Barnabas fell in love with long ago.  Carolyn Stoddard (Chloe Moretz) plays Elizabeth’s daughter.  Needless to say, she’s a troubled teenager.  She is into music, and wants to move to New York when she is 16.  Chloe’s character has a dark secret also, but on the plus side she has “good birthing hips.”  Next to Johnny, Chloe gave the next strongest performance.

Barnabas vows to restore the family business and bring the mansion back to its original glory.  But Angelique is every bit determined to destroy him unless he gives her his heart and vows to spend eternity with her.  This poor vampire is trying to win a girl’s heart, lose a witch, restore the family manor, rebuild the family business and still trying to adapt to the 70’s. Wow!  In his adjustment to everyday life in 1972, Barnabas encounters a McDonald’s sign, lava lamps, resin grapes, macramé owls, hippies, the book Love Story and even Mr. Alice Cooper.  Wow again!  Doesn’t that sound like a mouthful?  I have to admit I felt at times it was all over the place, but all in all I enjoyed Dark Shadows.  It was fun, made me laugh and best all…there was Johnny Depp’s performance.  Look for a cameo from Jonathan Frid (the original Barnabas Collins) and few of the original series cast at the beginning of the ball.  However, I hate to end this review on a sad note, but proper respect must be given to Jonathan Frid who passed away this past April on Friday the 13th.  He will be sadly missed.  Now go buy your tickets!



8 Responses to “My I’m In Love With Johnny Depp ‘Dark Shadows’ Movie Review”

  1. Sean Ferguson

    Nicely done Mary! We are in agreement!

  2. Mary

    Thank you Sean. I am very glad you enjoyed the movie and my review!

  3. Brian White

    IMO. The hoky dialog is what keeps this movie from a score any higher than a 4.
    Now with that being said I did enjoy this flick.
    But I think you meant to say that Chloe’s stellar acting actually raised the bar for Johnny to meet in their exemplary scenes together.

  4. Tina

    Nice review Mary…Captivating!

  5. Helen

    Great Review Mary! I can’t wait to see this movie! RIP Johnathan Frid you were an excellent Barnabas!

  6. Patrick

    Mary great review. Can’t wait to go see this on Sunday. My mother better appreciate me taking her for mothers day.

  7. Gregg

    I’m looking forward to this. In other Depp news, I heard he just took a nasty spill from his horse while shooting ‘The Lone Ranger.’ Any word on that?

  8. Mary

    Yes, Johnny said that the horse saved his life. He did take a spill of the horse and was dragged 25 yards, the horse jumped over him clipping his back leg. Johnny looks fine from what I have seen of him promoting Dark Shadows.