DARK SHADOWS started out fun and creepy and ended up tedious and dopey. Johnny Depp’s “odd” character choices are beginning to wear on me. I like my vampires smoldering and beautiful. But Depp’s ghoulishly nerdy Barnabas Collins back from the grave looks like Michael Jackson on a really bad day. So the hardest thing to accept in this gothic extravaganza isn’t that the undead walk the earth, it’s that every female character in the film is clamoring to bed Barnabas– or die trying.
Helena Bonham Carter as a supercilious psychiatrist hired to analyze the dysfunctional Collins offspring seems hot-wired for weirdness. Chloe Grace Moretz (late of HUGO) an inventive, charismatic actress proves once again she can hold her own with the grownups onscreen. But poor Michelle Pfeiffer looks haggard and miserable, and why is she wielding a gun in the big showdown? What good are firearms when it comes to vampires and souped up supernatural sirens like the porcelain-skinned Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard? At least that chick looks like a vampire, and when her perfect skin cracks (and the plot fell apart) my heart broke. That was the extent of my emotional involvement here.