Today's DVD Pick: Dark Shadows Kickstarts the Halloween Season
10.02.12 by Ryan
When it was released in May, director Tim Burton's adaptation of Dark Shadows didn't have a chance at the box office due to the juggernaut that was The Avengers. Mixed reviews didn't help, nor did the expectations that come with a Burton-Johnny Depp movie. The eighth collaboration between the director and actor, Dark Shadows struggled to connect with fans of the late 1960s-early 70s soap opera who didn't appreciate the joke-y tone of movie, nor did it please Burton's ardent fans, who have, understandably or not, grown disenchanted with some of the director's recent output.
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Crushed under the weight of all of that was a movie that actually isn't as bad as everyone wanted it to be. Neither Burton's worst movie nor a terrible interpretation of Dark Shadows, the movie's sense of humor wins, due to a game ensemble of actors led by Depp's mannered and eccentric 200-year-old vampire, Barnabas Collins. As screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) pointed out, it was nearly impossible to adapt over 1250 episodes of television and make everyone happy, but the end result will hopefully find a less aggressively cynical welcome on DVD and Blu-Ray. The home video release is just in time for Burton to win back all of his fans with Frankenweenie this weekend, and starts the Halloween season off with an enjoyable romp.