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Dark Shadows is a 2012 American fantasy horror comedy film based on the gothic television soap opera of the same name. It was directed by Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Bella Heathcote in a dual role.[2][3] The film had a limited release on May 10, 2012,[4] and was officially released the following day in the United States.[5]

Dark Shadows
Dark Shadows 2012 Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTim Burton
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based onDark Shadows
by Dan Curtis
Starring
Music byDanny Elfman
CinematographyBruno Delbonnel
Edited byChris Lebenzon
Production
company
Distributed by
Release date
  • May 11, 2012 (2012-05-11)
Running time
113 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$150 million[1]
Box office$245.5 million[1]

The film performed disappointingly at the United States box office, but did well in foreign markets. The film received mixed reviews; critics praised its visual style and consistent humor but felt it lacked a focused or substantial plot and developed characters.[6] The film was produced by Richard D. Zanuck, who died two months after its release. It featured the final appearance of original series actor Jonathan Frid, who died shortly before its release. It was the 200th film appearance of actor Christopher Lee, and his fifth appearance in a Burton film.

PlotEdit

In 1760, young Barnabas Collins and his wealthy family set sail from Liverpool to the New World, establishing the town of Collinsport in Maine and their grand estate, Collinwood. Fifteen years later, Barnabas spurns the advances of his servant, Angelique, secretly a witch. She murders his parents with dark magic and curses Barnabas so that "all he loves will die". Under the spell, his fiancée Josette falls from a cliff to her death; Barnabas throws himself after her but survives, further cursed by Angelique to eternal suffering as a vampire. Angelique turns the town against Barnabas, and buries him alive.

In 1972, Maggie Evans, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Josette, travels to Collinwood to fill the position of governess. She assumes the name Victoria Winters, and meets the dysfunctional Collins descendants: matriarch Elizabeth; her brother Roger; her teenage daughter Caroline; Roger's young son David, who believes he sees his late mother's ghost; and live-in psychiatrist Dr. Hoffman. That night, Victoria is visited by the ghost of Josette.

A construction crew unwittingly frees Barnabas from his tomb; he apologetically feeds on their blood, and makes his way to Collinwood, perplexed by the modern-day technology and fashion he encounters. At the manor, he hypnotizes the caretaker Willie into his service, and reveals to Elizabeth that the legends of her long-lost ancestor are true. Barnabas asks to rejoin the family, and shows Elizabeth the manor's secret passages and hidden treasure. Though wary, she introduces him to the family as a distant relative from England with plans to reclaim the Collins fortune.

Elizabeth and Barnabas use his powers of persuasion and the family treasure to restore the Collins Canning Company and Collinwood to its former glory, as Barnabas adjusts to modern life and falls for Victoria. Angelique, having survived through the centuries and now owner of rival Angel Bay Seafood, is still in love with Barnabas; to protect Victoria, Barnabas gives in to Angelique's lust and they have gravity-defying sex in her office. Afterward, a remorseful Barnabas again rejects Angelique's love.

Barnabas hosts a "happening" at Collinwood for the entire town with Alice Cooper as entertainment. He finds Victoria, who reveals that she has seen the ghost of Josette her entire life; her parents committed her to an asylum, but she escaped and was drawn to Collinwood. She returns Barnabas' affections and they kiss, to Angelique's dismay.

Dr. Hoffman learns of Barnabas' true nature, and offers to drain his blood in search of a cure. He discovers her using the transfusions to de-age herself, and kills her. He confronts the greedy Roger and offers him a choice: to become a better father to David, or to leave Collinwood with enough money to live out his life elsewhere; Roger chooses the latter. Heartbroken, David is nearly struck by a falling disco ball, but Barnabas saves him with supernatural speed and catches fire in the daylight, revealing himself as a vampire to the shocked household.

Desperate, Barnabas meets with Angelique, who goads him into confessing to his murders, and demands he join her as her paramour. Barnabas refuses, and is again trapped in a coffin. Angelique destroys the Collins’ cannery and, with a recording of Barnabas' confession, rallies the town against the family. David frees Barnabas, who confronts Angelique at Collinwood. They battle, and Angelique enchants the house to turn against the family, despite the efforts of a shotgun-wielding Elizabeth and Caroline, who outs herself as a werewolf. Angelique reveals that she was responsible for the werewolf that bit Caroline as an infant and for the deaths of David's mother and Barnabas' parents. The ghost of David's mother incapacitates Angelique, and the household escapes the burning manor. Angelique offers Barnabas her heart, which crumbles as she dies.

He races to the cliff and finds Victoria, unwilling to live as a mortal with him, but he refuses to turn her into a vampire. She steps off the cliff, and he leaps after her, biting her as they plummet to the ground. Victoria awakens in Barnabas’ arms as a vampire, declaring herself Josette, and they passionately embrace.

CastEdit

At the San Diego Comic-Con 2011, it was also confirmed that four actors from the original series appear in the film. In June 2011, Jonathan Frid, Lara Parker, David Selby and Kathryn Leigh Scott all spent three days at Pinewood Studios to film cameo appearances. They all appeared as party guests during a ball held at Collinswood Manor.[13][14][15] Frid died in April 2012, making this his final film appearance.

ProductionEdit

In July 2007, Warner Bros. acquired film rights for the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows from the estate of its creator Dan Curtis. Johnny Depp had a childhood obsession with Dark Shadows, calling it a "dream" to portray Barnabas Collins, and ended up persuading Burton to direct.[16] The project's development was delayed by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. After the strike was resolved, Tim Burton was attached to direct the film.[17] By 2009, screenwriter John August was writing a screenplay for Dark Shadows.[18] In 2010, author and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith replaced August in writing the screenplay.[19] August did, however, receive story credit with Smith for his contribution to the film. Filming began in May 2011. It was filmed entirely in England, at both Pinewood Studios and on location.[7] Depp attempted to emulate the "rigidity" and "elegance" of Jonathan Frid's original Barnabas Collins, but also drew inspiration from Max Schreck's performance in Nosferatu.[20]

Additional crew members and Burton regulars are production designer Rick Heinrichs, costume designer Colleen Atwood, editor Chris Lebenzon and composer Danny Elfman.[7] French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel — known for his work in Amélie, A Very Long Engagement and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince — worked on the project.

MusicEdit

ScoreEdit

Dark Shadows: Original Score
Film score by
ReleasedMay 8, 2012
Recorded2011–2012
GenreOrchestral
Length52:45
LabelWaterTower Music
Dark Shadows music chronology
Dark Shadows: Original Score
(2012)
Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2012)

The film was scored by long-time Burton collaborator Danny Elfman. An album featuring 21 tracks of compositions from the film by Elfman was released on May 8, 2012.[21]

Track listingEdit

Dark Shadows: Original Score
No.TitleLength
1."Dark Shadows Prologue" (Uncut)7:52
2."Resurrection"2:54
3."Vicki Enters Collinwood"1:21
4."Deadly Handshake"2:14
5."Shadows (Reprise)"1:08
6."Is It Her?"0:43
7."Barnabas Comes Home"4:18
8."Vicki's Nightmare"1:26
9."Hypno Music"0:47
10."Killing Dr. Hoffman"1:14
11."Dumping the Body"0:58
12."Roger Departs"2:33
13."Burn Baby Burn / In-Tombed"2:49
14."Lava Lamp"2:17
15."The Angry Mob"4:40
16."House of Blood"3:38
17."Final Confrontation"2:20
18."Widows' Hill (Finale)"3:47
19."The End?" (Uncut)2:42
20."More the End?"1:55
21."We Will End You!"1:09

SoundtrackEdit

Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedMay 8, 2012
Recorded1966–2012
GenreProgressive rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, pop, R&B, orchestral
Length44:43
LabelWaterTower Music, Sony Music
ProducerVarious, Tim Burton
Dark Shadows music chronology
Dark Shadows: Original Score
(2012)
Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2012)

The soundtrack features a score of several contemporaneous 1970s rock and pop songs, along with others from later and slightly earlier, including "Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues, "I'm Sick of You" by Iggy Pop, "Season of the Witch" by Donovan, "Top of the World" by The Carpenters, "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" by Barry White and "Get It On" by T. Rex. Alice Cooper, who makes a cameo in the film, sings "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Ballad of Dwight Fry". A cover of the Raspberries' song "Go All the Way" by The Killers also plays over the end credits. The soundtrack, featuring 11 songs (including two score pieces by Danny Elfman, and Depp's recitation as Barnabas of several lines from "The Joker" by Steve Miller Band) was released on May 8 as a download,[22] and on various dates as a CD, including on May 22 as an import in the United States,[23] and on May 25, 2012 in Australia.[24] Songs not featured on the soundtrack that are in the film include "Superfly" by Curtis Mayfield, "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John and "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath.

Track listingEdit

Included next to each track is the year of the song's original release, excluding the score pieces.
Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No.TitleArtistLength
1."Nights in White Satin" (1967)The Moody Blues4:26
2."Dark Shadows – Prologue"Danny Elfman3:56
3."I'm Sick of You" (1972/1973)Iggy Pop6:52
4."Season of the Witch" (1966)Donovan4:56
5."Top of the World" (1972)The Carpenters3:01
6."You're the First, the Last, My Everything" (1974)Barry White4:35
7."Bang a Gong (Get It On)" (1971)T. Rex4:26
8."No More Mr. Nice Guy" (1972/1973)Alice Cooper3:08
9."Ballad of Dwight Fry" (1971)Alice Cooper6:36
10."The End?"Danny Elfman2:30
11."The Joker" (original song from 1973)Johnny Depp0:17

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

The film grossed $79,727,159 in the United States and Canada, along with $165.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $245.5 million.[1] For a Burton film, Dark Shadows achieved below-average domestic box office takings,[25] with many commentators attributing that to the domination of The Avengers.[26] However, the film was popular overseas; it came second to The Avengers in most countries in regard to opening box office takings.[26]

Critical responseEdit

Dark Shadows received mixed reviews from film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 36%, based on 249 reviews, with an average rating of 5.34/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "The visuals are top notch but Tim Burton never finds a consistent rhythm, mixing campy jokes and gothic spookiness with less success than other Johnny Depp collaborations."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 55 out of 100, based on 42 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[27]

Some critics felt that the film lacked a focused or consistent plot or genre (as either horror, comedy or drama)[28] pointing to Grahame-Smith's script, and that some jokes fell flat.[29] Some further claimed that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's collaborations have become tired.[30][31][32] Many of the same, and other reviewers, however, noted its visual style was impressive.[33][34][35]

Positive reviewers, on the other hand, opined that the film did successfully translate the mood of the soap opera,[36] also acclaiming the actors—most notably Depp as Barnabas, who several said was the stand-out character due to his humorous culture shock,[34] as well as Pfeiffer[37]—and their characters; and further, that the film's '70s culture pastiche worked to its advantage.[38]

Roger Ebert said, "[The film] offers wonderful things, but they aren't what's important. It's as if Burton directed at arm's length, unwilling to find juice in the story." Ebert later noted that "Much of the amusement comes from Depp's reactions to 1970s pop culture," eventually concluding that the film "begins with great promise, but then the energy drains out," giving it two and a half stars out of four.[34] Manohla Dargis, writing for The New York Times, said that it "isn't among Mr. Burton's most richly realized works, but it's very enjoyable, visually sumptuous and, despite its lugubrious source material and a sporadic tremor of violence, surprisingly effervescent," and opined in a mostly positive review that Burton's "gift for deviant beauty and laughter has its own liberating power."[33]

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers gave the film a mixed two and a half stars, claiming, "After a fierce and funny start, Dark Shadows simply spins its wheels," and adding that "the pleasures of Dark Shadows are frustratingly hit-and-miss. In the end, it all collapses into a spectacularly gorgeous heap."[35] In The Washington Post, Ann Hornaday dismissed the film, awarding it just one and a half stars, explaining that "Burton's mash-up of post-'60s kitsch and modern-day knowingness strikes a chord that is less self-aware than fatally self-satisfied. Dark Shadows doesn't know where it wants to dwell: in the eerie, subversive penumbra suggested by its title or in playful, go-for-broke camp."[28]

Richard Corliss in Time pointed out that "[Burton]'s affection is evident, and his homage sometimes acute," and reasoned: "All right, so Burton has made less a revival of the old show than a hit-or-miss parody pageant," but praised the star power of the film, relenting that "attention must be paid to movie allure, in a star like Depp and his current harem. Angelique may be the only Satanist among the women here, but they're all bewitching."[36] Peter Bradshaw, in the British newspaper The Guardian, weighed the film in a mixed write-up, giving it three stars out of five, and pointing out his feeling that "the Gothy, jokey 'darkness' of Burton's style is now beginning to look very familiar; he has built his brand to perfection in the film marketplace, and it is smarter and more distinctive than a lot of what is on offer at the multiplex, but there are no surprises. There are shadows, but they conceal nothing."[30]

AccoladesEdit

Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Gully McGrath Nominated [39]
Kid's Choice Award Favorite Movie Actor Johnny Depp Won
Saturn Awards Best Performance by a Younger Actor Chloë Grace Moretz Nominated
Best Production Design Rick Heinrichs Nominated
BMI Film & TV Awards Best Film Music Danny Elfman Won
British Society of Cinematographers GBCT Operators Award Des Whelan Nominated
Empire Awards Best Horror Film Nominated

Home mediaEdit

Dark Shadows was released on both Blu-ray and DVD in the United States on October 2, 2012, the date confirmed by the official Dark Shadows Facebook page, and the official Dark Shadows website.[40] The film was released on both formats several days earlier in Australia; in stores on September 24, and online on September 26, 2012.[41] The film was released on October 15, 2012 in the UK.

The DVD includes just one featurette, "The Collinses: Every Family Has Its Demons",[42] while the Blu-ray contains a total of nine short featurettes and six deleted scenes.[43] Several worldwide releases of both the DVD and Blu-ray contain an UltraViolet digital copy of the film.

Cancelled sequelEdit

On December 7, 2011, Pfeiffer told MTV that she was hoping sequels would be made for the film.[44] On May 8, 2012, Variety reported that Warner Bros. may have wanted to turn Dark Shadows into a film franchise.[45] On the same day, Collider mentioned that the ending lends itself to a possible sequel. When Burton was asked if he thought that this could be a possible start to a franchise, he replied, "No. Because of the nature of it being like a soap opera, that was the structure. It wasn't a conscious decision. First of all, it's a bit presumptuous to think that. If something works out, that's one thing, but you can't ever predict that. [The ending] had more to do with the soap opera structure of it."[20]

See alsoEdit

There have been two other feature films based on the soap opera Dark Shadows:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Dark Shadows (2012)". Box Office Mojo. May 15, 2012.
  2. ^ Kenneth Turan (May 11, 2012). "Review: 'Dark Shadows' is a lesson in Tim Burton's quirks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  3. ^ Alex Zane (May 11, 2012). "It's Dragula Alex Zane reviews Dark Shadows". The Sun. London. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  4. ^ "Dates Set for Dark Shadows, Journey 2 and Rivals". ComingSoon.net. May 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "News on Batman 3, Superman, Dark Shadows, and The Hobbit (December 2012!) – IMAX and Warner Bros. Sign Up to 20 Picture Deal!". Steve "Frosty" Weintraub. April 28, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Dark Shadows". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Filming Begins on Tim Burton's Dark Shadows". ComingSoon.net. May 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "Johnny Depp's true 'Dark Shadows' vampire revealed! – Exclusive First Look". Entertainment Weekly. September 22, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Richards, Olly (November 2011). "The Weird Bunch". Empire Magazine: 70.
  10. ^ "Dark Shadows Production Notes" (PDF). April 29, 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "Dark Shadows Movie Casts Joshua Collins". Dark Shadows News Page. July 26, 2011.
  12. ^ "Susanna Cappellaro". Core Talent International. April 29, 2012. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  13. ^ "Alice Cooper Confirms Dark Shadows Cameo". Dark Shadows News Page. July 3, 2011.
  14. ^ "San Diego Comic-Con 2011: Dark Shadows Panel Highlights; Original Cast Cameos Confirmed for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows Film". Dread Central. July 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "Jdr Talks To Kathryn Leigh Scott, Our Q&A – Dark Shadows' Actress & Author". Johnny Depp Reads. March 2, 2012.
  16. ^ Fleming, Michael (July 26, 2007). "Depp lights up 'Dark Shadows'". Variety.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 2, 2011). "'Dark Shadows' ready for the light". Variety.
  18. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (January 21, 2009). "John August to pen 'Preacher' film". Variety.
  19. ^ McNary, Dave (July 15, 2010). "WB moves on Depp's 'Shadow'". Variety.
  20. ^ a b Radish, Christina (May 8, 2012). "Johnny Depp and Tim Burton Talk DARK SHADOWS, Pulling from the TV Series, Deleted Scenes, a Sequel and More". Collider. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  21. ^ "Amazon.com: Dark Shadows: Original Score: Danny Elfman: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  22. ^ "Amazon.com: Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Various artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
  23. ^ "Amazon.com: Soundtrack: Dark Shadows: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  24. ^ "Dark Shadows — OST". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  25. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (May 14, 2012). "'Dark Shadows': Has America fallen out of love with Johnny Depp? - latimes.com". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Ryan, Joal (May 13, 2012). "The Avengers Assembles $1 Billion at Box Office, Overshadows Johnny Depp's Dark Shadows - E! Online". E! Online. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  27. ^ "Dark Shadows Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  28. ^ a b "Critic Review for Dark Shadows: An IMAX 3D Experience on washingtonpost.com". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  29. ^ Harris, Mark H. "Dark Shadows Movie Review - Tim Burton Film Starring Johnny Depp". About.com. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  30. ^ a b Bradshaw, Peter (May 10, 2012). "Dark Shadows – review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  31. ^ Gibbs, Ed (May 13, 2012). "Dark Shadows: Johnny Depp, Tim Burton: Film, Movie Review, Trailer". The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media. Retrieved May 26, 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  32. ^ Hayes, Britt. "The Magic is Gone: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp Need to Divorce". ScreenCrush. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  33. ^ a b Dargis, Manohla (May 10, 2012). "Johnny Depp Stars in Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows' - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  34. ^ a b c "Dark Shadows :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". rogerebert.com, Chicago Sun-Times. May 9, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  35. ^ a b "Dark Shadows - Movie Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  36. ^ a b "Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows: Death Warmed Over". Time. May 10, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  37. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (May 9, 2012). "Dark Shadows Review - IGN". IGN. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  38. ^ Whittington, Mark (May 12, 2012). "Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows' Full of Whimsy and Camp - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2012.
  39. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  40. ^ "Dark Shadows". Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  41. ^ "Dark Shadows - DVD Movies & TV Shows, Genres, Comedy: JB HI-FI". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  42. ^ "Amazon.com: Dark Shadows (DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  43. ^ "Amazon.com: Dark Shadows (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy Combo Pack)". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  44. ^ Warner, Kara (December 7, 2011). "Michelle Pfeiffer Hoping For 'Dark Shadows' Sequels". MTV.
  45. ^ McNary, Dave (May 8, 2012). "'Dark Shadows' sharp enough for franchise?". Variety.

External linksEdit