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Dark Shadows: A Review

As many people are aware this is the latest Burton, Depp, Bonham-Carter and Lee conglomeration. It’s based on some old tv series I have to admit I’d not heard of and having only seen the first major trailor fir this film I didn’t really know what to expect, other than I thought it would be rather funny and would have a few darker undertones.

Annoyingly it wasn’t as funny as I expected. Still reasonably amusing but not the full blown funny I had hoped for. Maybe it was because the cinema wasn’t that full or because I went with a different set of people to my normal cinema buddies, but the atmosphere just didn’t quite get there for me and there were a few points when I’m sure I’m the only one who laughed out loud.

The acting wasn’t entirely up to scratch I don’t think either. It felt a little like everyone was tired and maybe a teensy bit bored. even the usually perfect Depp didn’t quite bring his quirky character completely to life, though he got the closest of the lot. Christopher Lee just felt wasted as the ship Captain and while Helena Bonham-Carter had some good moments it wasn’t a particularly good character to be playing for her.

I also felt that they tried to pack too much into the film. It was very story heavy and because so much had to happen in the plot I don’t think it allowed each part to properly develop. There was no room for relational development so people felt too trusting too soon etc. It could have actually benefited by being 20 minutes longer and having more funny one liners in as a result.

The final point I didn’t like was all the magic, but I suppose that’s to be expected from a vampire film, although the trailor didn’t imply that much and was a little more light-hearted than the film actually turned out to be. I think this also would have been improved by adding a bit more to the film in terms of humour and relationship development.

While saying all these bad points, this is a film made by one of the greatest directors of our time and with some of the best actors so even though it felt like an off day for them it was by no means bad. I don’t regret seeing it or spending the money. I just wasn’t wowed like I’ve come to expect from this group of people.