There are very few things that will get me to shell out X number of dollars and sit in a movie theatre: Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, Robert Rodriguez, and an occasional super-hero flick.
So tonight we ventured forth to see “Dark Shadows” at the Carmike. Fortunately, the movie was way better than the several reviews that I read over the weekend – Johnny Depp *killed* it as Barnabas Collins, and the supporting cast did quite well, too. Not enough to elevate the movie to 4-star status, but this movie is a very comfortable 3-star effort.
Yes, there were a few throwaway laughs, but it was far more serious and less “campy” than the previews would have you believe. The overall design was mostly spot-on, too – early 70s tone, complete with lava lamps, “Superfly” at the Roxy Theatre, a few hippies. Not too many mis-steps, in terms of period authenticity, at least that I could see, although Barry White’s “My First, My Last, My Everything” came out in 1974, after the film’s 1972 setting. It was used to humorous effect, so whatever.
And yes, a few chuckles at the “fish out of water” thing – Barnabas cursing at a McDonald’s sign, assuming that Alice Cooper is a woman, etc.
But make no mistake: Barnabas is a vampire, and his adversary is a witch, and there are more than a dozen dead bodies by the time the credits roll.
Note: never saw any of the original “Dark Shadows” series – a few snippets over the years when flipping the channels, but other than knowing the name Barnabas Collins and that it involved a vampire, I went into this movie cold.
As far as the Carmike Theatre: didn’t realize that ticket prices had cracked $9 in Great Falls. Surprised that there was a line on a Wednesday night. Popcorn was fair. Bottle of water cost $4.10. Viewing experience was fine. Employees seemed a bit more friendly than in previous outings.
ALSO: the official start time of the movie was listed as 7:15. We had to suffer through several movie previews and a couple of “enjoy your movie experience!” promos. So start time of 7:15, but the movie actually began at about 7:36.