Johnny Depp plays Barnabas Collins, who, after being turned into a vampire by a scorned lover/witch (Eva Green) in the 18th century, is buried for about 200 years and awakened in 1972. Cue Curtis Mayfield’s “Superfly” as Baranbas meets his bell-bottom wearing relatives (Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz) and suffers from a little culture shock. (“Reveal yourself, tiny songstress,” he yells to a TV set playing Karen Carpenter.) The witch returns, hijinks ensue and Barry White plays.
The film is based on the 1960s/’70s gothic soap opera of the same name that inspired supernatural shows like “Passions.” “Dark Shadows” has such a huge fan following, there’s an annual convention. (There’s a great “This American Life” about the subject.) The show was shot live-to-tape, meaning there usually wasn’t time to fix errors. So although the TV series was not intentionally a comedy, it became one at times.
The trailer — which is campy and silly, while still being a little dark — is different enough from the source material to attract a new, wider fanbase. But fans of the original might feel miffed by the comedic treatment of the earnest series.
Watch the trailer below.