Thursday, March 15, 2012

the DARK SHADOWS trailer

I'm less than pleased with the clip above, which is shattering since I've been looking forward to this film for a couple of years. I'm quite surprised that this gaudy comic mishmash is the movie that Burton and Depp chose to make from the series, considering the decades each has spent nursing their affection for it. A friend quite reasonably reminds me that a trailer can't be counted on as a concrete indicator of what a film will be like, and one does wonder if the studio marketing department (who surely cut this trailer) were put off by stranger moments in the film and settled on the cutesier, more saleable stuff.

And yet the fact that so much of the latter seems so evident in the trailer is cause for concern. I'm not blind to the camp value that many ascribe to DARK SHADOWS (indeed, I've reveled in some of the show's more enthusiastic outbursts myself). And yet the craziness of the show was an outgrowth of its ambitious creative process, not a deliberately winking wackiness, and to play the story of Barnabas Collins and family mainly for yuks is an easy out that I'm disappointed to see Burton and Depp taking.

But even if they are going for something more interesting and varied, this trailer sets us up for a campy laff riot. Which is so much less than what the series offered, even amid the technical screw-ups and blown lines. I stand by my definition of the show as "the craziest community theatre in your town doing a short Gothic horror play EVERY SINGLE DAY" - the result of this approach is, just as often as camp, an atmospheric shudder delivered creatively on the cheap, and occasionally inspired romance (not to mention time travel and parallel worlds). The Burton/Depp film may yet provide these, and though the trailer gives me no hope, I admit I'll be heading out the second weekend of May to see for myself.

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