While I was just a wee little one when Dark Shadows originally aired on TV, I did catch the reruns a little later on in life, and I can safely say that the Tim Burton movie of the same name, starring Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, is a very distant relative to the original Gothic soap opera.
My feelings on the updated Dark Shadows are divided. There are some genuinely funny moments in the trailer (Reveal thyself, tiny songstress), but there are also some really lame ones (Collins brushing his fangs in front of a mirror, although he can only see the toothbrush in the reflection). Burton revels in all things 70’s with this period piece. I haven’t decided yet if that’s good or bad.
I’m fairly certain that part of my initial distaste for the preview is the shock at discovering this is a comedy. I had no clue… and that’s saying a lot since I provide entertainment news for a movie site. Even the trailer starts off with a misleading atmosphere. We see Barnabas Collins head-over-heels in love (or maybe it’s simply lust) with a certain woman, and we see a spurned witch curse Collins to an eternity as a vampire locked within his coffin. Then we flash to the 70’s and see the coffin dug up as a ghostly apparition appears in Collinwood Manor and warns, “He’s coming.” After that, Dark Shadows seems to have more in common with The Addams Family than with its own TV namesake.
Personally, I think horror and comedy work excellently together when handled well. I loved Zombieland at the theater, and Jesse Petersen’s Married with Zombies put a a great spin on the zombie apocalypse, with plenty of tense, dark moments to balance out the laughs. Still, I’m not sure about this one. Dark Shadows was up towards the top of my ‘must-watch list, with only The Hobbit and The Avengers above it. Now, it’s looking more like a DVD for a rainy weekend.
What do you think about the trailer? Was it what you were expecting?