Dark Shadows is certainly a Tim Burton movie. It’s very deliberately paced, with more emphasis placed on the setting and props than on keeping incidents happening at a rapid clip.
It’s as though a joke became a movie. “A ghost, a witch, and a vampire walk into a soap opera…” I also felt as though I’d seen all the funny bits in the trailer, which led me to be believe it was more of a comedy than it was. My attention dragged, and I wanted to see more events that I didn’t already expect. Although I’d never seen the source show before, things seemed to play out as I could have predicted. I was looking for something that was as entertaining on its own, but this is more of a nostalgic period piece.
I most enjoyed watching the set and the costumes, since much of the film was about evoking the time period. If you enjoy “remember when people dressed that way?” and “listened to that” and had lava lamps, you seem to be in the same frame of mind as Burton and Johnny Depp.
I’ve already seen a brittle Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray and doomed lovers and tragic curses in everything supernatural. I would have enjoyed the movie more without the witch (Eva Green), but I suspect she’s too important to the original. At least everyone commits to their roles. Depp, in particular, is elegant and frightening and remote.
Random note: The little boy, David, played by Gulliver McGrath, looks like a baby Benedict Cumberbatch.