Watching “Dark Shadows” is a bit interesting for me since I, a bit, enjoyed watching this particular genre since I was a teenager. There were lots of different images of ghosts and spirits that I noticed by watching the similar genre as like this movie. If you live in Indonesia, you will know what I mean. An interesting thing about this movie is that it presents a unique way of delivering the ideas of ghosts and spirits toward the audience. Johnny Depp, again, is successfully acting with the image of vampire, which I would think that his appearance in the movie is not that scary. Even, he performed it in such a humoristic way. The witch, which is played by Angelique, to me is interesting as well. She performs really like a witch, but of course, her straight look in her eyes is not deceiving. To me, she performs more like a whore than a witch. These two characters seem dominating the entire plot of the story. What about the other realm that this movie is trying to present? I would apply the ideas of spiritual concept toward the analysis of this movie.
Challenging the Old Conception about Western Supernatural with Comedy
Everyone seems to know that there are thousand of different images about ghosts and vampires, even though I admit that these things are seen as spiritual aspects. After watching this movie, I came to my judgment that the basic thing that it tries to tell to me as its viewer is that it depicts the idea of “there is a good vampire”. The witch might be the worse one to see for her mystical power in controlling Barnabas, for she had befriended with the Satan, but Barnabas here, as the vampire, appeared as the nice vampire. After hundreds of years, he was born again as the old Barnabas with a new appearance, a vampire.
When I looked at the beginning part of the movie, I saw that Angelique was jealous to Barnabas because he loved other woman. The jealousy that she has had turned her to hate Barnabas, instead of loving her. Seemingly, the overall image of Angelique as the witch is that she could not handle her ego in loving Barnabas. Instead of loving him without doubt, she turns into possessing him with all her dark magical power. She is the one that makes Barnabas becomes the vampire. To me, this image becomes the idea of viewing a partner. It must be balanced if it means and becomes to love. A couple needs love from each other to stay in the feeling of love. In the movie, we are being given with the image of revenge and of the dark part of hatred over jealousy. Even after hundreds of years of Barnabas’ burial, his family got curses from Angelique. Again, I see that revenge could twist a person to become a devilish one. Betrayal is seen in the character of Dr. Hoffman. She had mistakenly used the vampire blood in order for her to live forever. She has misused the trust and position that she had been given by Collins family. The good part of this family is played by Michelle Pfeiffer as the Elizabeth. She managed all things about Collins family, even after Barnabas’ death.
The use of comedy in this movie seems to let loose all the image of vampires that we might already been injected. I always assume that vampires are wild (although they are undoubtedly unreal), but this movie presents that vampires are such nice and mild character. However, a different case goes to the witch. A witch is still a witch. She is seen as the bad character in the movie, with her ability to perform in such sensual and sexy outlook. When all these characters are brought into today’s realms, I would imagine that they represent the psychological paralysis that most teenagers face today. The mother, as seen through Elizabeth, is required to accept at the end condition of her children due to the dark shadows. The concept of regeneration here seems to bring me into seeing the illusional unrepresentational ego of the father and mother. The mother is seen to be dead, Josette DuPres, but her appearance came at the end of the movie. Angelique never gives up to make Barnabas her husband, but Barnabas did not love her. He was trapped into Angelique mystical nuances until Barnabas realizes that Angelique is actually the witch.
Well, what I could learn through this movie is:
- Loving means accepting that loving needs to be loved and to be loved needs loving
- Having family is really matter and important than having wealth that could banish the happiness of the entire aspects of the family if the family disrespects the value of togetherness
- Having revenge is such a coward attitude, forgiving is better
- Barnabas Collins – Johnny Depp
- Elizabeth Collins Stoddard – Michelle Pfeiffer
- Dr. Julia Hoffman – Helena Bonham Carter
- Angelique Bochard – Eva Green
- Willie Loomis – Jackie Earle Harley
- Roger Collins – Johhny Lee Miller
- Victoria Winters/Josette DuPres – Bella Heathcole
- Carolyn Stoddard – Chloe Grace Moretz
(I enjoyed watching this movie in the middle of my study break before final examination anyway. Worth watching if you want to laugh. This movie is not scary but is not too humoristic either. It is good only for teenagers to above. Not for kids)