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Release Date: May 11, 2012 (2D and IMAX)
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Tim Burton
Screenwriter: Seth Grahame-Smith
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Eva Green, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bella Heathcote, Gully McGrath
Genre: Gothic Comedy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking)
Official Website:

STUDIO SYNOPSIS: 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 (Johnny 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 (Eva 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.
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Visual Review by David Bruce

(iPad/iPhone here) Trailer
Plot - Vampire Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972 and the dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family.

THEME: "Family is the only real wealth."

JOHNNY DEPP and director TIM BURTON on set

JOHNNY DEPP as Barnabas Collins


EVA GREEN as Angelique Bouchard

GULLY McGRATH as David Collins, JONNY LEE MILLER as Roger Collins, MICHELLE PFEIFFER as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, and CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as Carolyn Stoddard

(iPad/iPhone here) Featurette: Barnabas Unearthed.
A behind the scenes look at the making of Dark Shadows.

By setting story in the 1970s we can make a more objective view of the silliness of the culture back then, and by extension our culture today. Johnny Depp: "The thought of this very elegant man of the 1700s, having been cursed and locked away for 200 years, coming back to 1972—maybe the worst time, aesthetically, in human existence, where people accepted everything from macramé jewelry and resin grapes to lava lamps. We thought what a great way to incorporate this vampire being the eyes that we never had back then, the eyes that can see the absurdity in those things."

(iPad/iPhone here) Clip: Stay Away From That Man
THINGS CHANGE: A conflict in time and culture. Tim Burton, who was a teenager in the 1970s, says, "It was not so much making fun of the time, just seeing things from a different perspective. When you think of mood rings and Pet Rocks... I suppose you could find peculiar things in any era but, looking back on that stuff, as eras go, that one does seem stranger than most."

BELLA HEATHCOTE as Victoria Winters exemplifies life as mystery.
Tim Burton: "It's obvious that Victoria is withholding secrets of her own, and Bella has got a certain quality that fit very well into that role. There's a mystery about her, something you can't really put into words, but right away I saw Bella as Victoria."

(iPad/iPhone here) Clip: “There’s Always Been Something Pulling Me Here”
That inner unexplainable urge, desire, destiny that cannot be explained.

Meet the Family: Bella Heathcote, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jackie Earle Haley, Johnny Depp, Chloe Grace Moretz, Jonny Lee Miller, and Gully Mcgrath

(iPad/iPhone here) Clip – “A Vampire!”
Protecting the family at all costs. Even murder. Barnabas returns finding the mansion in dreadful disrepair and his few remaining relatives equally fractured. Burton says, "It all boiled down to trying to capture the dynamics of this family, who happen to be a little out of the ordinary. I mean, there's a certain internal dynamic that occurs in any family, and that was something that interested me."

The unique styling of Tim Burton.
The pop art work represents, the tongue, blood and the 70s all at once.

Rich in symbolism.
The vampire strikes a cross pose upon resurrection.

When looking at the culture and the things that seem so important it is good to have “eyes that can see the absurdity in those things” --Johnny Depp

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