Movie Review: Dark Shadows


I was very excited that my passes to see Dark Shadows was at a dome IMAX theater.  This was my first time seeing a non-educational film in such a theater and I just want to say that I was blown away.  While it wasn't necessary for this film, I can see action films being a lot of fun in the dome setting because I truly felt wrapped in the action.  The screen was in my entire field of vision.

After the movie, I spoke with someone who had seen a previous screening of Dark Shadows at a normal theater and he explained that the film felt distorted from the curve of the screen.  Therefore, I cannot advise if this movie is worth the IMAX cost because most IMAX screens will be flat.  Additionally, some of my complaints regarding the camera shots might be explained by this curve and therefore I have decided to leave them out of the review.  These few items were not going to impact my final opinion because they did not affect the film as a whole.

Now for the movie review...

Tim Burton and Johnny Depp teamed up again for their eighth collaboration in Dark Shadows.  Prior to the trailers beginning to air, I had never heard of Dark Shadows so I found myself behind the majority of the crowd.  Most people at the movie were fans of the 1970s soap opera.  If you, like me, find yourself unfamiliar with the origins of the story, don't panic.  The movie is not a continuation and therefore most of the characters are introduced in a way that allows you to enjoy the film without that prior knowledge.  I say most, because there were a few parts where I was confused.

 The film began with a short story in the 1700s as we see how the young Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) is cursed by a witch and then betrayed.  Almost 200 years later, Barnabas is released by unknowing people and the story begins.  I liked this early scene because it helped introduce characters and explain behaviors later in the film.  Keep an eye out because some of the actors are in both the 1700s and 1970s and it effects the story.

The majority of the film takes place in the 1970s.  I thought Tim Burton did a great job with the sets because they were dull and run down but in a retro kind of way.  Johnny Depp played his part very well and as usual he emerged himself into the roll.  The rest of the cast also did a great job playing their parts.

My personal opinion of this film is that it will have a pre-determined fan base.  If you enjoy fantasy, this film will really entertain you and you will like it.  If you are not a fan of vampires, witches, werewolves, and mythical creatures, you probably won't like this film.  I personally enjoyed the film and would go see a sequel if they released one.

Dark Shadows will be released nation wide on May 11, 2012. Check your local theater's Facebook page for coupons on snacks.

Movie Rating for DARK SHADOWS

The passes for this pre-screening were through a trade on Cinemit's message board. Making friends with other movie lovers is a great way to find out about local screenings. Check out my information post for more information about free movie screenings.


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