I know I said I wouldn’t be able to review Dark Shadows this week, but: surprise! It worked out that I could. And I’m glad – Dark Shadows is an updated version of a horror soap from the 1960s and 70s. The words “horror” and “soap” don’t really go together except in a universe where everything is crazy, so naturally it’s screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) and director Tim Burton (who did Corpse Bride) who bring the classic to life (again).
Cursed by the witch whose love he spurned, a rich canning company heir turned vampire spends two hundred years in a box then returns to restore his family’s prosperity.
I really enoyed Dark Shadows because after a decade of supernatural fiction moving further and further away from the vampires-as-monsters model and toward an ideal where vampires are broody sparkly bunny munching boyfriends, it’s refreshing to see something that calls back to the good old days where vampires were scary. Scary and hilarious.