Dark Shadows movie review - Aussieboyreviews


Although not great, Tim Burton’s direction is excellent, the costumes and makeup are brilliant and Dark Shadows is an entertaining vampire movie. It’s packed with special vampire effects and dark humour.


After being buried for two centuries, vampire Barnabas Collins is let loose and returns to his now-rundown home inhabited by his dysfunctional descendants.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote
Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith
Release Date (Australia): 10 May 2012
Runtime: 113 minutes/1h 53m
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Horror
Country: USA, Australia
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

The film contains supernatural themes and fantasy themes throughout, including depictions of people being attacked by vampires.

Violence (M)

The film contains bloody depictions of people being attacked and having their necks bitten by vampires and characters being shot.

Coarse Language (PG)

The film includes use of the words “s**t”, “bitch”, “ass” and “bastard”.

Drug Use (PG)

A group of people are depicted sharing a marijuana joint.

Sex (M)

The film contains verbal sexual references, as well as scenes in which a woman implicitly performs oral sex on a man and a man and woman kissing passionately as they fly around the room.

mpaa rating

PG-13 (for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking)

Aussie boy's thoughts

The visuals of this dark fantasy-comedy directed by Tim Burton, including the colour tone, cinematography, costumes and heavy makeup, are all distractingly memorable. Johnny Depp plays a very freakish-appearing vampire with pale skin, long fingers and dark clothing, as his character is set free after being buried for two centuries, to then return to his rundown home inhabited by his dysfunctional descendants.

Dark Shadows is really quite a uniquely-thought, notably-designed and visually-catchy vampire movie, mainly for audiences who’ve never heard a thing of the television show and have just happened to come across this movie somewhere. The hook, which takes up around the first 5 minutes, doesn’t pack any real punch and honestly makes you worry that this movie is going to be lame and boring, when it’s rather very entertaining and darkly comedic.

Each member of the cast is notable for at least one thing about them, whether it be in their appearance or performance. Helena Bonham Carter’s bright red hair really stands out within the cold colours of the film, while Eva Green’s pale smile delivers villainous vibes and the child actors’ characters provide child or adolescent-like emotions. Burton direction for this movie is equally as brilliant as the cast’s work and makes it worth the big screen.

For a dark comedy arranged with supernatural fantasy elements like Dark Shadows, it’s honestly quite difficult to recommend it to a certain audience, because some will find it enjoyable fun while others will find it completely empty and poorly-executed. You can’t really judge the whole movie by its intro either. It’s probably just best to say that it’s entertaining and every visual is stunning, while also acknowledging the messy and mixed opinions.

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