There really once was a time that Tim Burton just could do no wrong by me. I loved his unique style and visions but his more recent movies have been nothing but disappointing. His style feels more like a gimmick now days and he doesn't seem to be interested in telling a good story, with intriguing enough characters in it.

And this movie ultimately is also a very shallow one. It does a poor job at handling its characters. Most never get developed properly enough, so you don't feel any involvement with any of them and it makes the movie vague and confusing about the motivations of the different characters.

Seemed like the movie had plenty of ideas in it. Too many perhaps. It occasionally picks up a plot line but then completely drops it for another one. It makes this movie feel like a underdeveloped one, that never sets up anything properly. Instead it makes the movie feel like it's being all over the place with its story. When you think that the movie will be heading into a certain direction with its story, it suddenly takes a completely different approach and abandons all of its initial ideas. Seemed at first that the movie would be about Barnabas Collins trying to reclaim his family position. It then seemed like it was going to be a love-story and finally the movie suddenly started to involve a villainous plot, that worked out as something far too forced. No, it really isn't a very natural feeling or flowing movie, which also truly prevents it from ever becoming anything fun because it's also so terribly uninvolved and shallow to watch all. This especially goes for the movie its final 30 minutes or so, which just was one big mess, in my opinion. I literally had no idea what was going on anymore, simply because I had also lost all interest at that point and stopped trying to like and understand the movie.

The movie does has its stronger points though. It remains a great looking movie, with all of its sets, costumes and makeup and I also liked the collaboration between director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman, which was something that seemed to be lacking the last couple of years but it seems like they have really found each other again with this movie, which is also one that feels a bit more into tone with Burton's earliest work, such as for instance "Beetlejuice".

I also really liked Johnny Depp, even though his character remained terribly shallow and not very interesting throughout the entire movie. He still manages to put a lot into his role and still give some life and fun to this movie. I also really liked Eva Green as the evil villain but everything else in this movie was interchangeable really. Most characters don't even seem to have a real purpose for the movie at all and actors such as Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller and Chloƫ Grace Moretz all remain terribly underused.

The first half of the movie remains pretty amusing, I give the movie that but I just can't forgive it for its second half and other weaknesses. It makes this far from a great or recommendable movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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