Dark Shadows – Love it or Hate it


The movie Dark Shadows has come out and like many of this type of movie, it is receiving basically mixed reviews with people who love the formula, love the movie and those that don't, well… don't.

The problem most critics are seeing is that Tim Burton, the director of this dark comedy based on an old gothic sitcom from the 1970's, has basically directed himself into a corner and has made a style that is becoming predictable. Of course add to that the reoccurring, and almost mandatory at this point, roles for Johnny Depp and Helena Bohnham Carter and Christopher Lee. All fine actors but seem to always end up in a Burton film along with the predictable Danny Elfman soundtrack.

As the Mountain Times reports:

The bulk of “Dark Shadows” works on basic comic levels. The first hour is harmlessly entertaining, thanks primarily to Depp and Burton’s sense of humor, but the whole suffers from the Burton formula.

It’s kind of like New Coke vs. Coca-Cola Classic. Classic Burton, e.g. “Beetlejuice,” “Batman” and “Ed Wood,” celebrated the weird, all of them tales of outcasts struggling to control their typically bizarre inner demons.

Modern Burton – much of which involves a pale Johnny Depp and shoddy, cartoonish CGI – no longer celebrates the weird, as it’s already built in. Sure, it’s gussied up and polished, but Burton’s grown comfortable with it. It’s his thing, his calling card. By default, weird becomes normal, which is the last thing you’d expect from a director like Burton. Truth, I guess, is stranger – or weirder – than fiction. 

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However, those that are in love with Burton will find the film familiar and enjoy the tale told in the way only Burton can do it. As the reporter from The National reports, even though it is formula, that is what saves this movie:

It may feel like the US filmmaker isn't trying anymore, but if that's the case, we only have ourselves to blame. His last big-screen outing, 2010's soulless, 3D reimagining of Alice in Wonderland, somehow went on to became one of the highest-grossing films ever made. Dark Shadows seems to prove the theory that as long as we keep paying the price of admission, Burton will carry on making the same movie. In this case, however, the film's “sameness” might just be the best thing about it.

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So, are you a Burton fan? And if this is the case, we guess you will also love the Corpse Bride Part 2: Frankenweinie.

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