No, I have never seen or heard of Dark Shadows (1966-1971) before, so there is no comparison to be made as some other critics did. This may perhaps be better going in with few expectations, and I was pleasantly entertained.
Of course, Tim Burton‘s signature dark motif, literally and figuratively, is plenty in this film as usual dealing with supernatural creatures, nonetheless. I am no expert, but the colours, costumes, make-ups, and style are impeccable. The CGI effects you can tell were meticulously crafted and finished. Pay attention to the detail of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), the witch, when she is being killed. Yes, we have seen similar, Sharon Stone in Catwoman (2004) her brittle face with too much cold cream, or Meyrl Streep in Death Becomes Her (1992) her twisted body after falling down the stairs, but with Anqelique it’s flawlessly beautiful.
Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) cursed of an immortal life, for loving the wrong person, for 196 years as a vampire in a chained coffin buried deep in the ground. Until one day in 1972, a construction crew digs deep to find the coffin, releases him, and ends being his breakfast! Collins family business is now run by Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer), a distant relative of Barnabas. In the Collins’ castle live Elizabeth’s daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Chloë Grace Moretz), Liz’s invalid brother Roger Collins (Jonny Lee Miller), and his son David Collins(Gulliver McGrath), whose full-time boarding psychiatrist is Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter). The household is maintained by Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) and Mrs. Johnson (Ray Shirley). To give you a sense how bad thing is Elizabeth says, “the north wing is closed to save on hydro” while she is interviewing the new governor, Victoria Winters (Bella Heathcote), for David, whose mom just died.
Angelique Bouchard runs the whole town. It is her revenge to over-run Collins’ family for the last two decades because she could not acquire love from Barnabas.
Despite Barnabas has no loyalty to speak of but lust with whoever is offering, he is still in love with Josette DuPres, who happens to be connected mentally and spiritually with Vicky/Victoria.
Funny, at the end it bets the same question being asked between Edward and Bella in Twilight (2008). In other words, what a vampire to do?
It’s funny, retro, delight, groovy, and most of all it’s a great looking film!
P.S. I caught in a scene where Collins’ factory was on fire, the whole thing was a model because there were three fire-fighters that didn’t move at all.