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Dark Shadows Misses the Mark

Dark Shadows 2012Did you see Dark Shadows last weekend?  I’m sure the answer is “no” for many of you, given the fact that The Avengers slayed the competition by over $70 million at the box office.  While I wasn’t familiar with the original gothic soap series, I am quite a fan of any Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration.  Joining them for the ride was the usual cast of Burton characters like Helena Bohnam Carter (a quirky favorite of mine), composer Danny Elfman, and costume designer Colleen Atwood.  How could you miss?  Well, they did.

Here are my top 3 thoughts about the film:

1. Chloe Grace Moretz:  I know she was the edgy “IT” girl in film in 2011 with Kick-Ass and Hugo, but I found her to be horribly miscast in the role of Carolyn Stoddard. Her aggressiveness was misguided and inexplicable until the final scene, when they conveniently wrapped up her storyline in five sentences or less.  (I won’t spoil it for you.)  Perhaps, this was a role for Dakota Fanning or an older Kiernan Shipka?

2. Awkward Dialogue:  Seth Grahame-Smith was responsible for the screenplay for this film, but I couldn’t help but think that Depp or Burton had a say in some of the scenes that were written.  Several scenes, including the one with the hippies and Barnabas Collins (Depp), were so uncomfortable and amateur, it seemed like everyone wanted the dialogue to be over with as soon as possible.  It showed all over the actors’ faces.

3. Phoning It In:  After such successful collaborations between Depp and Burton on films like Sweeney ToddEdward Scissorhands, and Alice in Wonderland, I couldn’t help but feel like these two were phoning it in and cashing the paycheck for this movie.  I guess I am someone who expects excellence each and every time they work together.  Now, Depp was fun, the set design and costumes were fantastically creepy, and Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard stole each and every scene she was in, but I felt the movie as a whole was underdeveloped.  This film lacked the overall polish normally seen from this partnership.

I may sound a bit harsh in my review of this film, but take a look at Rotten TomatoesDark Shadows only has a 41% approval rating from the critics and a rather low 54% approval rating from the audiences, whereas Alice in Wonderland managed to garner a 72% approval rating from the audiences.  This doesn’t bode well for the $125 million film with Battleship nipping at its heels this weekend at the box office.  

What did you think of the latest Burton/Depp collaboration?  Was it a disappointment for you?  Hit me up in the comments below, on Facebook, or on Twitter.




Kristyn Burtt is a TV Host, Entertainment Reporter, and Former Couch Potato turned Mouse Potato living in Los Angeles.  For more Hollywood scoop, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and on her site, Red Carpet Closet


Kristyn Burtt



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