It doesn't take much of an opinion to proclaim that any Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration is weird, strange, and/or peculiarly odd. The two have a unique sense of style and personality, often crafting films that are visually stimulating and contextually bizarre. Dark Shadows fits this formula with uncanny precision.
Depp plays playboy Barnabas Collins, the son of a rich New England settler, who falls victim to a witches curse after offering his heart to another woman. Buried alive at the city's hands, Barnabas escapes his coffin over two centuries later where we find him perplexed with his new surroundings as he stumbles upon his family descendants, barely hanging on to his once prized estate.
Based on the popular 1960s soap opera by the same name, Burton veers clear of the original material as he opts to tell his own vampire story. Unlike his previous films, Dark Shadows is more direct with its comedy as Depp absorbs his 'fish out of water' situation with ease thanks to his punctual delivery and stellar supporting cast.
Boasting a shrew of lively characters that inhabit a wide range of personas, the film uses its heavy list of viable actors to the best of its ability as the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Chloe Grace Moretz craft imaginative characters that bear both spontaneity and self control. But for every success with the characters, an equal failure looms within the film's story - which is often seen as an afterthought by nearly all involved. The end result is a well-played film that often escapes the grip of its legendary director, leaving viewers entertained though hardly impressed.