Finding Love in All the Wrong Places
Release Date: May 11, 2012
Genre: Dark Comedy
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 113 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures/TimeWarner
Director: Tim Burton
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith
Address Comments To:Jeffrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Barnabas Collins, son of a wealthy British fishing magnate who migrated to the United States in 1760, loves the ladies – or, rather, taking what he wishes of them (on the piano, on the desk, wherever he can), provided he need not declare his love. One day, he meets the pure and beautiful Josette and falls madly in love. His former lover, Angelique, will have none of it. If Barnabas will not love her, he will love no one.
To add to the problem, Angelique is a witch. She drives Josette to suicide, and, when Barnabas throws himself off the cliff to join his beloved, he discovers he cannot die. Angelique has turned him into a vampire. Still, he will not love Angelique. Scorned, she feels justified in turning him in to the townsfolk and burying him in a coffin deep underground. There, Barnabas remains – for two centuries.
Fast forward to 1972. Collinsport is now ruled by Angelique (still living and still a witch), and the Collins empire is decaying. A young woman who calls herself Vicky (and who strangely resembles a reincarnated Josette) has felt herself called to the town since childhood. She shows up one day for a post as governess on the Collins estate.
That same night, construction workers dig up a mysterious coffin and release Barnabas from his prison. He promptly drinks their blood to quench two centuries of the munchies. Eventually, he has to confront Angelique to save his family and Vicky.
As the story unfolds, JOHNNY DEPP is charming and charismatic as a two-hundred year-old vampire rediscovering the world and all its changes, from electricity to motor cars, rock music, and hippie culture.
DARK SHADOWS is highly entertaining, full of laughs, and filled with charismatic performances. Barnabas wishes to be part of his family once again and restore them to their former glory. The reestablished rivalry between Barnabas and Angélique provides the main plotline, but the character of Vicky isn’t sufficiently developed to drive viewers to the movie’s final scene.
[SPOILERS FOLLOW] Scorned once again by Barnabas (although he does have relations with her), Angélique tries to drive Vicky into reenacting Josette’s suicide, but Barnabas stops her just in time. Then, Vicky asks him to turn her into a vampire so that they can love each other forever. However, Barnabas has vowed never to let her suffer the life he endures! So, Vicky leaps to her death and tricks Barnabas into feeling he has no choice but to turn her into a vampire during the fall. Consequently, the lovers are reunited in each others’ arms for the long-anticipated kiss.
Sadly, this ending implies that true love has no real place in this world (although it is a biblical virtue), but can be shared after death between two damned vampire souls. The movie also suggests that a bloodthirsty murdering vampire can represent the forces of good in defeating an evil witch.
The highly flawed worldview makes DARK SHADOWS unacceptable viewing, despite the inspired performances, clever humor, and numerous affirmations of family and free market capitalism.
A dark comedy, DARK SHADOWS is full of laughs. The performances are charismatic, with good direction from ever-quirky Tim Burton. Also, there are some affirmations of family and free market capitalism. However, DARK SHADOWS suggests a bloodthirsty murdering vampire can represent the forces of good in defeating an evil witch. It also contains occult content, brief lewd content, and strong violence. Finally, the movie’s Romantic worldview has references to reincarnation and vampire love. This flawed worldview makes DARK SHADOWS unacceptable viewing, despite the more entertaining, positive elements.