Dark Shadows 2012

I remember when a Tim Burton film was something kooky that the whole world would fall in love with. Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, even his Batman (although I wasn't keen on it). But increasingly Burton's films have lost their way. Dark Shadows is a mess. Disjointed, rarely keeping any character continuity from one scene to the next. Its only saving grace is Johnny Depp's rather familiar central character. As per usual he throws enough heart into the performance that it stands out. Its Burton who lets the film fail. Poor editorial choices and a lack of good characters make this hugely disappointing. The trailer made it feel like a comedy but the truth is Dark Shadows isn't a comedy, it just doesn't know what it is.

The truly sad part of seeing Dark Shadows is making the realisation that Tim Burton has now made more bad films than good ones and nothing worthwhile since 2003's Big Fish. I wouldn't hold out hope for a recovery either. He's clearly not willing to accept criticism as this film falls into the same faults as others he's made. The astonishing thing, for me anyway, is that regardless of how many bad films he puts out I still keep coming back. Am I being stupid or Burton clever? Or is it the optimist in me, hoping that he can turn the corner. On this basis, not bloody likely.


  • I haven't seen this film yet, but I totally agree with what you've said in the second paragraph. I thought Big Fish was a fantastic film and I keep wishing he'd do something as interesting again, but as you've said here, with every film I lose hope.

    I can't judge Dark Shadows without seeing it, but it's disappointing to hear that it's not a comedy, as the trailer does look genuinely funny.

  • The trailer had me thinking it was the start of a "return to form" for Burton. I was grossly misled.
    When the best thing you can say is that the Soundtrack was good then you know the film is a stinker. I was really hoping for something along the levels of Beetlejuice but it was far from it.

  • I was taken in by the trailer, so in that respect it worked. It made it look like a fish-out-of-water comedy. But every single gag in the film is in the trailer. The rest of it...

    I agree that the best thing about the film was the soundtrack. You can't really go wrong with Danny Elfman and the musical choices fitted nicely.

  • As a culture, we need to stop giving the guy money. I've ranted and raved about Burton on my blog a total of 5 times now- I've come to almost hate him because he won't stop making garbage.

  • There's only so much good will to give someone based on previous works.

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