Skip: ‘Dark Shadows’
Conversely, I was all geared up to enjoy Dark Shadows. Adapted from the cult soap opera of the same name, the film looked like it marked filmmaker Tim Burton’s return to gonzo family-themed fare, a la Beetlejuice. The film centers on 18th-century vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) who is buried alive by his vengeful ex, Angelique Broussard (Eva Green). When he awakens, the year is 1972 and his estate, occupied by a motley crew of relatives, is in shambles. In order to return his family to their former glory, Barnabas must face off against Angelique. Depp is likable as the protagonist, Eva Green is absolutely delectable as the villain, and newcomer Bella Heathcote is a vision as Barnabas’ object of desire, but the film falls flat. It’s mostly a bunch of unfunny fish-out-of-water jokes, capped by a finale that’s a carbon copy of the one in Death Becomes Her. Meanwhile, here are Depp’s past five live-action films: Dark Shadows, The Rum Diary, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Tourist, and Alice in Wonderland. Perhaps it’s time for him to return to the edgy roles in smaller films that defined his early career.