Dark Shadows

Recently, 112 Katong has become both mine and Nur’s favourite hangout especially for a late night movie. Indeed, you can easily get a ticket at 112 GV Katong but that is only after finding a parking spot that is remotely priceless.

For last night’s showcase, we went to catch the latest Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s collaboration Dark Shadows.  It is a delightful quirky movie of the cursed Barnabas Collins with his life ruined and turned into a vampire by a wicked witch. He is reawakened 196 years later, to restore his beleaguered descendants into the splendour of the original Collins era.

To be frank, Nur and I were in a bind as we were caught between Dark Shadows and 21 Jump Street’s Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Indeed, I was curious to see the all new slim Jonah Hill however my fascination with Depp and Burton simply was too strong.

However, upon hindsight, I wished I had caught 21 Jump Street (which Johnny Depp has a cameo scene). Hang on a minute, don’t start making up your mind of Dark Shadows! It still is a lovely show but just hear me out.

Dark Shadows is a quirky movie as it gives a ‘What if’ feel. What if a vampire was reawakened in the 70’s. It is ala reminiscent of Tom Cruise’s Lestat in Interview with a Vampire as he lived in the new World. However, Burton and Depp gives a cynical sweet feel as you go through the heavy human drama with laughs and smiles. When I look back, it is deeply disturbing that I was laughing about the deaths of 7 teens just due to a flashback scene. It was beautifully written with strong plots and heavy with emotions and laughter. However, it ended less appeasing. Let me review the movie.


The cast is stellar. Indeed, I have to commend Michelle Pfeiffer for her strong performance as the matriach Elizabeth Collins. She has changed from the sweet young school teacher to this motherly strong woman. Another class act was Eva Green as the conniving witch Angelique who sadistically tries to coax Barnabas into loving her although she destroyed his life in the first place. A memorable scene was Angelique offering her heart to Barnabas, as proof that she does have a heart to love him although it did come crashing down within moments. Let’s not forget the master Johnny Depp. Once again, he has added a new persona to his ever growing list of memorable characters. Barnabas Collins is a proud inclusion in the list of characters such as Edward Scissorshand, Ed Wood, Don Juan, Donnie Brasco, Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, Sweeney Todd, John Dillinger and Tonto in the upcoming movie Lone Ranger.


An original, strange and interesting plot. Who would expect such a strong and weird character Barnabas Collins to be reawakened during the swanky Hippie 70’s. The human drama of unrequited love; mystical figures like vampires, ghosts and witchcraft; to regain a pride; importance of a family; sin and vengeance. It was brilliantly smooth however everything comes crashing down as it seemed like they just wanted to end the show. It was like building a lovely home only to smash it with a wrecking ball.

Special Effects

Brilliant cinematography and special effects. Hollywood at it’s best.

Overall (3.5/5)

A movie that still has to be seen thanks to the genius of Depp and Burton. A first for Burton to have so much colour in his otherwise dark and grainy films. Just be prepared for the cringing ending. And yeah, catch 21 Jump Street first.

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