DARK SHADOWS (2012)

TMG Scale 8.5    MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeifer, Helena Bohman Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, Eva Green

Fun. Funny. Very retro. Depp doing Depp at his best! And surprisingly a genuinely sound storyline.

If you were born too late to enjoy the spoofy, silly but a little bit creepy late 60’s daytime soap opera on which this film is based, you are probably too busy seeing The Avengers for the third time this month. This movie is not for you. But it could be. TMG thinks this film can play to all generations if they give it a chance. Most will not. Too bad.

To a sharp eye, this movie has many elements of   Edward Scissorhands (1990). Scissorhands was the movie that has defined Depp’s career, perfected his quirky mannerisms and solidified his creative acting style. It is in the TMG Movie Hall of Fame. Dark Shadows won’t make the Hall of Fame,  but it is a solid reprise nonetheless.

What is appealing is that the screenwriters mixed a dumb soap opera with genuine comedy largely built around a vampire (always popular) with the modern day surprises after being buried for 200 years (196 to be exact). It has that Austin Powers fun about it. Pfeifer and Green added the sultry and hot spice while Jackie Earle Haley (remember Little Children from 1990?) added a touch of creepy authenticity (a bit Marty Feldman like from Young Frankenstein (1974)  for a very mild, spooky feel.

My real disappointment, perhaps more of a concern,  is for little Chloe Moretz. Chloe is a hugely talented young girl but playing a “whore child” may be fearfully predictive of what trouble lies ahead for her in real life. She needs to do play some softer roles and quit hanging around amoral types like Nic Cage. (Kick Ass 2010) Simply adding “Grace” as your middle stage name is not going to help. Mark TMG words, Chloe will be the next Hollywood tragedy at her current rate.

Give Dark Shadows a try. It is really a light comedy and truly entertaining.

 

 

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