You know, I don’t HATE Tim Burton. I actually like some of his movies; Batman is pretty good, Sweeney Todd is pretty good, Big Fish is great, Pee Wee, Bettlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands were all fine…and that’s all I can think of right now. The 90’s were pretty good for Burton, but then the 2000’s reared their ugly heads, and things have been much less stable for the director. Yeah, he’ll always have his devoted fans, but Fish and Todd withstanding, all of Burton’s current films have been either mediocre or downright terrible. His last film, Alice in Wonderland, was just to much for me; it was just so, SO bad. I began to believe that Burton’s brighter days were behind him. Does the trailer for Dark Shadows trailer change that? Well, see for yourself:
Honestly, this trailer kind of surprised me. Now it didn’t blow my mind or make me love Tim Burton again or anything like that, but it KINDA works. What surprised me the most was that this film is actually a comedy although, looking back, I don’t know why (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter writer Seth Grahame Smith is behind the screennplay). There’s a goofy energy behind it that reminds me of vintage Burton, ala Beetlejuice. Johnny Depp looks like he’s having fun in this, as is Eva Green as an evil temptress/witch. But as fun as this looks, it really blurs the line of “campy” and “terrible.” If Burton doesn’t tread litely, this could easily end up a disaster. Or a lot of fun.
Yeah, there is no middle ground with this.
Here’s the official plot synospis:
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Depp) has the world at his feet–or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better, each harboring their own dark secrets. Matriarch Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Pfeiffer) has called upon live-in psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter), to help with her family troubles. Also residing in the manor is Elizabeth’s ne’er-do-well brother, Roger Collins, (Jonny Lee Miller); her rebellious teenage daughter Carolyn Stoddard (Moretz); and Roger’s precocious 10-year-old son, David Collins (Gulliver McGrath). The mystery extends beyond the family, to caretaker Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) and David’s new nanny, Victoria Winters, played by Bella Heathcote.
Dark Shadows opens May 11, 2012.