Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Bella Heathcote, Gulliver McGrath
In certain moments, Tim Burton's super-campy Dark Shadows looks and feels like the Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations of old. Adapting the eponymous, cult-loved, Gothic horror soap opera from the 1970s, Burton and Depp visibly have a grand old time, with the former bathing the film's visuals in a candy-coated, Universal Monsters sheen and the latter hamming it up as a scorned, centuries-old vampire who's out of his element in the '70s. And with a solid supporting cast, namely a sexy, fiendish Eva Green as the story's villainous witch, Dark Shadows showcases talented folks who understand the material's goofiness and gleefully bask in it.
Thus, it's a crying shame that Burton moronically used screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith's clusterfuck of a script. With peripheral characters coming in and out of prominence throughout, and a tone that schizophrenically bounces back and forth from wannabe scary to overboard and silly, Grahame-Smith's plotting is phenomenally uneven. The fact that Mr. Burton either didn't realize the script's numerous flaws or chose to ignore them confirms that he's simply on cruise control these days, more concerned with style over substance. The eccentric filmmaker's upcoming animated flick Frankenweenie looks excellent, but it's a shame that we can't anticipate it without extreme caution.