I admit that I didn’t walk into Dark Shadows (2012) expecting greatness. Based on Tim Burton’s most recent contributions to cinema, I’d anticipated yet another overly done and trite film that would leave me asking: What happened to the man who once delighted both the mind and senses with pieces such as Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and Ed Wood (1994)? But like an ex-boyfriend I once had a good thing with, I decided to give him another chance. What did I get for my time and $12.00 movie ticket? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Dark Shadows is so insignificant it isn’t even worth talking about. It’s dull and full of cliches, including that old favorite: assertive women are evil, and women that take orders are good. Johnny Depp’s performance as Barnabas Collins is merely a fusion of characters that he’s already played: a cartoonish caricature of his past in heavy make-up.
As for everyone else, I have just one word to sum up their portrayals of these cult characters—meh. Who cares? The bottom line is this movie was so boring, so lacking in substance of any kind, it didn’t even earn my hatred. I wish that it was terrible! I wish that it had made me so angry that I went off, ranting into the night about what a hack has-been Burton is, causing me to further mourn the loss of his prior demented genius. The only feeling Dark Shadows gave me was one that follows a night of unsuccessful love-making: frustrated and sort of annoyed, with the urge to bake brownies at 2 am because I was left so completely unsatisfied.
The only thing worse than a bad movie is one that bores you. After all, bad films, whether they are poorly made, have no story, or are simply offensive in ideology, provoke conversation. They make you feel something and may even make you want to change the world because what you saw angered you so much. A bad movie can teach you how to make things better.
A boring movie simply wastes our valuable time (and cash). So Mr. Burton, I am officially done with you. I should have ended it long ago, but perhaps I wasn’t ready to admit what you have become: a sellout. Before you were just making bad films, but this is completely inexcusable. You have obviously completely given up, but I’m sure you’re enjoying your millions of undeserved dollars.