A critically panned Johnny Depp film is rising from its streaming grave

Johnny Depp’s film career has been dramatically varied. The famous actor has starred in many legendary and groundbreaking films like Edward Scissorhands and Pirates Of The Caribbean. However, he has also been involved with some projects that utterly bombed and quickly got forgotten. But now, one of these forgotten films is haunting the streaming charts. 

According to FlixPatrolDark Shadows is the 9th most popular film on Hulu. First released in 2012, the movie is a reboot of the famous soap opera of the same name that ran from 1966 to 1971. Infamously, the soap opera started as a regular daytime drama. However, when it was on the verge of cancellation, the writers introduced a vampire character. The show instantly exploded in popularity, causing the series to become a supernatural-focused one. 

Dark Shadows follows Victoria Winters, a woman who moves to Maine to become the governess for the eccentric but historic Collins family. However, when a construction crew accidentally dig up the body of the Collins’ long-lost patriarch Barnabas Collins, they learn that not only is the man still alive, he’s actually a vampire. 

Barnabas quickly sets about restoring the family to its former glory, while Victoria and the rest of the family try to untangle the story of how Barnabas became a vampire. And it quickly turns out that some old grudges may be haunting the family.

The film had a very rocky release, only making $79.7 million in the United States. However, the film did much better internationally, ending up making $245.5 million overall. Some of its box office problems were blamed on The Avengers, which came out around the same date. The Avengers totally dominated the media and the public’s consciousness at the time, limiting Dark Shadow’s reach.

But, the film did very poorly with critics. It only has a 35% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. The main complaint from critics was that the film was very unfocused with an overly-complicated plot that was groaning under the weight of many half-cooked subplots. This also led to the film having tonal issues with moments of gothic drama clashing with overly-goofy comedy that often veered into childish slapstick.

Viewers were equally down on the film, giving it a 46% audience score overall. Many of the critics’ complaints are reflected by viewers. Many argue that the film simply didn’t know what it wanted to be. However, many viewers praised the film’s look, as it created some memorable gothic locations. 

While Dark Shadows did terribly at the time, it is amazing that people can rediscover it via streaming. While it isn’t the best film in cinema history, it is still a fascinating take on a classic series and quite unlike any other movie before or since.