Dark Shadows

Rated 3.0

Johnny Depp shines, albeit pallidly, in Tim Burton’s over-the-top take on the late-'60s supernatural soap. Returning in 1972 after two entombed centuries to his coastal Maine homestead—and to an amorous feud with a jealous spurned witch (Eva Green)—Depp’s blue-blooded bloodsucker yearns for his true love (Bella Heathcote), befriends his baffled descendants (Michelle Pfeiffer, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloë Grace Moretz), and piques the interest of their in-house shrink (Helena Bonham Carter). With an exquisite collaboration between cinematographer Bruce Delbonnel and production designer Rick Heinrichs, and an occasionally hilarious but uneven script by literary-mashup maestro Seth Grahame-Smith (see also: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), Burton’s movie sometimes gets away from him, blurring its own otherwise beguiling camp-gothic clarity. Depp’s soulful deadpan is the best thing about it—even when climactic contrivance or giddy overacting doesn’t agree with everyone else in the cast, which also includes Jackie Earle Haley and Alice Cooper as himself.