We don’t go to the movie theater often. When we do actually go to the cinema, we rarely pick a flick on its opening weekend. But at least once a year there is a movie release that I absolutely can’t miss — a film that I have been anxiously awaiting for months.
Readers of my blog know that I love scary movies – horror, slashers, psychological thrillers, classics, B-rated films, etc. These are “my movies” according to my guy, and he usually insists that I see these with my girlfriends.
Two years ago, the film was the Nightmare on Elm Street remake starring Rooney Mara, Katie Cassidy, and Thomas Dekker. My girls and I rushed out early on a Saturday morning to witness the “new” Freddy Krueger terrorize the teens of Springwood, Ohio.
In 2011, we again met at the theater for a Saturday morning viewing of Colin Farrell as the sexy vampire Jerry Dandridge in the remake of Fright Night – in 3-D no less. As with Nightmare, this vampy flick put a new twist on the popular original which is exactly the kind of remake I appreciate (in most instances, not in The Clash of the Titans’ case).
But I digress…
Around December of last year, I knew exactly which film my girlfriends and I would see on its premiere weekend this year – Dark Shadows.
Dark Shadows is not new; it has been around for decades, literally. In the ’60s and ’70s, Dark Shadows aired on the ABC network as a soap opera. Dan Curtis’ melodramatic soap put the supernatural on the map – vampires, ghosts, werewolves, zombies, witches, etc. It also featured time travel and aspects of parallel universes, something that is extremely popular on TV today.
The soap opera launched into a phenom craze of its own, and MGM released two feature films based on the popular hit in the ’70s: House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. Since then, the Dark Shadows franchise has grown to also include magazines, comics, and books.
In 1991, Dark Shadows aired on NBC as a primetime drama as a reimagining of the original series (also created by Dan Curtis). The “new” Dark Shadows didn’t last past its freshman year, but the story grabbed a certain teenage girl in Midland, Texas who never missed an episode. Yes, I’m talking about me… Even today, I have my DVR set to record the ’91 series anytime it airs in syndication on SyFy or Chiller.
The Dark Shadows television series was almost brought back to life in 2004 by the WB, but the network passed on the pilot starring Alec Newman and other familiar faces: Marley Shelton (Valentine), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Alexander Gould and Martin Donovan (Weeds), Kelly Hu (Nash Bridges), Ivana Milicevic (Head over Heels), and Blair Brown (Fringe). I am seriously bummed that this series didn’t make it.
So what makes Dark Shadows special? Vampire Barnabas Collins
As if it wasn’t enough that Tim Burton is bringing Dark Shadows to the big screen, he cast one of the best actors of our time in the role of Barnabas Collins — the fabOoolous Johnny Depp.
I’m a fan of vampires in general (the dark kind, not the lovey-dovey kind – yes, I’m referring to Twilight here). The trailer has me worried that the film will be a bit “campy” for me, but I’m putting all preconceived notions aside and am looking forward to my movie date this weekend. After all, Mr. Depp isn’t the only star cast in this cult classic: we also have Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz (Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass), Helena Bonham Carter, and Jackie Earle Haley (the “new” Freddy Krueger) to just name a few.
It’s also rumored that a few of the soap opera stars from the ’60s and ’70s will play a cameo in the film, something I truly appreciate. Did everyone notice Chris Sarandon’s cameo in Fright Night (2011)? Loved it – the “old” vampire Jerry killed by the “new” vampire Jerry. Brilliant!
I don’t know what to expect from this movie, but I know I’m looking forward to it. With the exception of The Rum Diary (in my opinion), everything Johnny Depp touches turns to gold. Surely Dark Shadows will be another of his masterful character pieces and will leave all of us applauding him once again. The man is simply fantastic. Partnered again with Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter, how can it fail?
Are you a Dark Shadows fan? Did you prefer the soap or the ’91 retelling? Do you plan to see the movie? I’d love to hear from you!