I know. Tim Burton’s spoofy spin on hoary gothic soap Dark Shadows (reaching home video Tuesday from Warner Bros.) got stakes through the heart by most critics. But what do they know? (Besides, the film did gross $234 million worldwide.)
Yes, the movie misrepresented itself in trailers and ads as a knee-slapping fish-out-of-water comedy poking fun at the 1970s, when long-buried vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) arose to join his clan’s dysfunctional and faltering family and set things right. And yes, Dark Shadows is a bit unwieldy, with too much story and too many characters for those not schooled by the frightfully fun show many rushed home from school to see decades ago.
But since Burton is the ultimate fanboy director, I forgive him. In fact, I applaud him. At least he tried to be creative while recreating. And he was right to modernize the style and tone of Dan Curtis’ long-dead series (well, 1991 did bring a brief prime-time rebirth), pumping new blood into it with wry humor, vivid production values and a strong cast, especially — as in eight of his films now — the delightful Depp. (more…)