“My name is Barnabas Collins. Two centuries ago, I made Collinwood my home... until a jealous witch cursed me, condemning me to the shadows, for all time.”
First let me get myself prepared for all the things that will come flying at me before I begin this post…… Ok I am prepared….
I am not a huge fan of Johnny Depp….. wait, wait let me finish!!!! *darting all the items being hurled at me*. Geez, people can be so touchy!
Let me start again… I am not a huge Johnny Depp fan but every once in a while I see a movie of his where I actually like him. I do not mind him as an actor but sometimes he just drives me nuts. I found myself really enjoying him as Barnabas Collins in his new Tim Burton feature Dark Shadows. I actually enjoyed the entire movie.
Barnabas lived his mortal life in the late 1700s. He left Liverpool, England with his mother and father and moved to Maine where they ran a very successful fishing and boating business. As Barnabas got older he became a playboy messing around with several women. Unfortunately he had messed with the wrong woman. Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) has worked for the family ever since she was young and has loved Barnabas all her life. He does not love her, he loves a young beautiful woman named Josette. Angelique is a witch and created a spell that made Josette walk to the edge of a cliff and kill herself. Barnabas jumped after her but Angelique turned him into a vampire so he could spend the rest of eternity suffering over his lost love. She then has the whole town of Collinsport turn against him for being a monster and they chain him and bury him.
Two hundred years later in the 1970s the few remaining descendants of the Collins family still lives in the lavish Collinswood home that Barnabas’s father had built. The family has been hit hard throughout the years owed to Angelique who is still alive and running her own business against the Collins’s. One night a group of construction men stumble upon Barnabas’s coffin. They make the mistake of opening the coffin and they pay with their lives.
Barnabas returns to his family home. He is greeted by Elizabeth Collins (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is the head of the family. Barnabas lets her know that he is a vampire and also the secret passage where his father’s fortune has been hidden for all the centuries. He helps to rebuild the family business and clean up the mansion. Angelique finds out Barnabas is back and still wants him more than ever.
Things happen to piss Angelique off and she wreaks havoc on the family and Barnabas.
The story was actually really good. I found it to be interesting with a lot of back story. the characters were so good and the actors did a fantastic job bringing these crazy people to life. Helena Bonham Carter was the whole reason I even thought of seeing it for and she did not disappoint whatsoever. She was not really in it too much but to me she stole the movie. Johnny Depp was his great. The man does have a gift for delving into his characters and really becoming them. All the praise in the world goes to Eva Green. Really the woman just made the entire movie she was so damn incredible. Green was the perfect villain. There was one scene where she smiled the most sinister smile I have ever seen; you will know exactly what I am talking about when you see the movie. The rest of the cast was alright. Michelle Pfeiffer was good in her role as the matriarch of the family trying to keep things as normal and proper as they could be. Johnny Lee Miller was a slim but it is always good to see him in something. Chloe Grace Mortez was a typical moody teenager made more so by the fact that she listened to moody 1970s music like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
I liked Dark Shadows so much I cannot wait until it comes out on Blu Ray. I enjoyed the story and the performances so much. I especially liked the theme of family Barnabas says right off the bat that family is everything and he proves it by helping his very distant relations just because they share the same blood. But I must warn you that opinions of this movie vary a lot. While I liked it my two brothers and out parents were not too thrilled with it. Reviews for it were all over the place. I say see Dark Shadows and decide for yourself, it is worth seeing at least once.