Parents, are you looking for a movie to see this weekend, without the kids? Despite the fact that the new Tim Burton flick, Dark Shadows has had plenty of promotion, you may be like me and not really know much about it — other than that it stars Johnny Depp (surprise, surprise) and Burton’s wife and muse, Helena Bonham Carter.
As a child born in the '80s, I was not familiar with the late-'60s/early-'70s original gothic soap opera that this movie was based on. However, I will say — and I know it’s a bold statement — that the music and fashion of the '70s is probably my favourite era. Considering this interest in the time period, I found plenty to enjoy in this film remake. Johnny Depp plays the lead character, Barnabas Collins — the head of the family at the centre of the film. As a cursed vampire, recently awoken from the 17th century, Barnabas finds himself now in 1972 — and, boy, have things changed. As for more plot details, I’ll stop there — it's a little confusing and, let’s face it, parents are too busy!
So here are five fun facts I think you need to know before heading out to see this flick:
1. Johnny Depp is not a pirate. Sure, he’s a vampire, but let’s be happy that he’s not impersonating Keith Richards this time around.
2. Michelle Pfeiffer is back! And looking great.
3. Dark Shadows is a mash-up, in my eyes, of The Addams Family and 1992’s Death Becomes Her (don’t remember that flick? Go look it up, you won’t be sorry!)
4. My favourite cast member was little Gully McGrath who plays the youngest of the Collins crew. I can’t find his exact age, but he’s got a bright future a head of him.
5. Oh, and did I mention Alice Cooper? Need I say more.
Well, maybe I'll say just one more thing: the soundtrack is pure classic '70s featuring Donovan, Iggy Pop, The Carpenters and The Moody Blues.
I should also mention that you might find that you're not having the usual “Tim Burton experience” — that this one is a little campier than his other films. I personally was OK with that, and thought it was nice to see a bit of a change from him. And if you do have kiddies at home who seem to be wanting to tag along with you, note it’s rated 14A for comic horror violence, sexual content, drug use, language and smoking. So it’s not for the littler ones!