Dark Shadows (12A)
Tim Burton, 113mins. Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
Tim Burton needs Johnny Depp more than ever these days. This big-screen revisiting of a cult TV show from the 1960s, largely unknown over here, is beset with Burton's familiar faults - overproduced and underwritten, it labours through swathes of gothic mystery without seeming to know if it should scare us to death or make us bust out laughing. In the end, it barely does either.
Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a vampire exhumed 200 years after his burial and returning to his family mansion on the Maine coast. It's 1972, and the Collins estate, now close to collapse, is still under the ancient curse of Angelique (Eva Green), the witch who first turned Barnabas into a bloodsucker.
But the arrival of a new governess Victoria (Bella Heathcote) recalls his former amour and offers him a hope of redemption. Most of the comedy derives from the vampire's startled reaction to modernity – television and pop music being the obvious things, though there's a passing dig at the golden M of McDonald's, which Barnabas believes to represent Mephistopheles. Depp's old-world locutions ("That was a regrettable turn of events") and his trademark eye-widening are the only reward for slogging through what's really an awful mess.
Burton doesn't so much tell a story as lurch from one set-piece to another, with little care for the linking material. By the end, he's sought refuge in a familiar farrago of digimated effects and demented Grand Guignol. Hair and make-up have worked overtime, as they usually do on a Burton movie, but they're inadequate cover for this slender and ill-conceived project.
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
- 1 Jose Mourinho: Graceless reaction of Chelsea manager a sad effort to hide his own flaws
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers