First Reviews For DARK SHADOWS Are Decidedly Mixed

First Reviews For DARK SHADOWS Are Decidedly Mixed

Currently sitting at 20% on RT with a total of 5 reviews (still a ways to go in fairness), Tim Burton's take on the cult tv show would seem to have quite a few problems..

The first few reviews for Tim Burton's Dark Shadows have hit, and they haven't been very kind to the movie. They haven't completely slammed it either mind you, most praise quite a few elements but ultimately err on the negative. The general consensus seems to be that the cast - particularly Johnny Depp - all do a fine job, but the narrative is a bit all over the place and Burton fails to properly balance the comedy/horror elements - something many fans worried about when the first trailer was released.

Here are some excerpts from the reviews that are currently online..

Tim Grierson of Screen Daily writes..

"Though sporting director Tim Burton's usual visual flair, the film nonetheless suffers from the same lack of narrative focus that has haunted his other recent offerings..

..Johnny Depp, working with Burton for an eighth time, gives a spirited performance where the affectation doesn’t outweigh the effectiveness, but still one walks away from the film remembering the costumes but not really the characters that wore them."

From The Film Pie..

"Perhaps my expectations were misaligned but I was disappointed by Dark Shadows. The lure of director Tim Burton and a half-decent trailer had me thinking this would be a sharp, witty black comedy. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. There were only a handful of genuine laughs… and that puts it on a par with Scary Movie 3.

The film gets too bogged down with lengthy dialogue-driven sequences. Knowing that Burton is sitting in the director’s chair, you keep thinking they’re going to lead up to something clever but that’s rarely the case. Instead, we're left with dumb jokes highlighted by a scene where Barnabas pulls out the back of the television set and tries to comprehend how there are small people inside. It was like watching Mel Brooks’ awful 1995 comedy Dracula: Dead And Loving It."

But there is one positive review from Quick Fix, who call Dark Shadows Tim Burton's "best film in a decade", continuing..

"Dark Shadows moves with buoyancy and ease. The 1970s setting also affords Burton an opportunity to create a cotton-candy-canvas for his caricatures to play, and we know how much he likes that. Despite the title – and all the on-screen bloodletting – it’s a light affair; fun, and funny, and filled with appealing performances (Moretz and Green in particular). As for Depp, some may have tired of his shtick, but I’ll continue to cheerfully gobble it up so long as he can continue producing uniquely tuned characters such as his Barnabas, who relishes such hackneyed lines as, “A woman doctor? What an age this is."

Reading through these I think - like most of his movies - how much you enjoy Dark Shadows will probably depend on whether you are a Burton fan or not. Obviously we will have to wait for more reviews to come in before we can get a proper idea of the full critical reaction, but what do you guys make of this? Has it made you think twice about checking the movie out? Or were you not planning to anyway? You can read the rest of the reviews so far HERE

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