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. 

Comments (16)

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  1. Bradsays:

    I can’t believe there was No Attributing it’s lack of success to the absolute uprising of OG Dark Shadows fans, who were devastated by the complete annihilation and disregard that Burton & Depp did to Dan Curtis’s Melodramatic vision of what WAS a great story. Tim Burton Killed any interest that Hollywood had in reviving or rebooting a new Dark Shadows series, let alone even another movie. From ALL the talk I’ve heard, over several Dark Shadows facebook pages, for years now, Burton’s Defiling of the Story / Characters / Mood / Atmosphere / GENRE’, and anything else you can name . . . is what brought his movie down.

    1. Earlsays:


    2. Wolfboysays:

      “Defiling”? “Annihilation”? Now THAT is pure melodrama. Honestly, this decade-long outrage over a parody needs to end. No, Burton’s movie didn’t “kill any interest” in reviving the show, there’s already talk of a new series. Really, it’s well past time to move on, this grudge is silly.

      1. Jessasays:

        Thank you. Well said.

    3. Jessasays:

      Hahaha Calm down. You’re the only one devastated. It didn’t kill any one’s interest in a revived series. It’s happening and you can thank due to the popularity of it now for that.

    4. BTMomsays:

      Well said!! Agree 100%

  2. Rich Kesslersays:

    Hilarious and smart film. I watch it a lot. He refers to Alice Cooper: ‘… the Cooper woman.’ and ‘the ugliest woman I have ever seen.’

  3. Jessasays:

    ANY movie he’s a part of is amazing. He’s simply one of the best artists in the world!

  4. Junegemsays:

    Had a lost direction and silly sub plots but, you all have to admit Johnny’s eyes are beautiful. His makeup artist and he collaborated on the look…

  5. Shelsays:

    A picture popped up out of nowhere. It’s not the first time it happened. It seems to happen at very important times, reminding me that I am not alone. It’s a picture of someone I truly believe was, is and will always be a light. She endured the most severe suffering, a sacrifice she made for those she loved.
    I placed the picture on the nightstand, aside of my bed, last night. I dreamt of you, PopRocks, in your true form, standing aside of my bed, looking for a way back in my head, but you couldn’t get to me. She was there, my light, protecting me.
    I know you don’t believe in the same things as me. I don’t expect anyone to, it’s my reasons alone. I believe in them as much as I believe in the air we breath and consciousness. I am here alone, by faith, and yet I am not afraid. I truly believe the protection, the passion to fight for the greater good, is spiritual. Jf you continue to attack me you will only attack yourself. I may joke around, but this is no joke. It was dreams that guided me here, enlightened me, and inspired my support for Mr. Depp. It will not change, I believe in him and in his cause.

  6. Bessie Devillesays:

    There is no story here. Just an isolated article reaffirming that just about everyone hated this movie, but you should go back and revisit it, anyway. No thanks. “Dark Shadows” would have made a magnificent big-budget gothic fantasy feature film, but that film has yet to be made.

    1. Shelsays:

      I love this movie, watched it many times. The dark humor is brilliant. Maybe it’s over your head Deville. Best to stick to the movies you can understand than trash the ones beyond your comprehension.

  7. Savage Lynxsays:

    For an outlet that’s shilling for a greedy ho who can’t get enough of anything, it’s not surprising they write from their steaming pile of a sh*tty opinion, which is where the death of appreciation lies. Any outlet that can’t see past it’s alliance with a HOAXER and publicity stunt monger for what it is… click bait… is painting itself in a corner of blinders. Dark Shadows is a wonderful film, drawing from vampires, a love interest (Kera Knightly) with a history of mental illness, and a a witch, centered around a heartbroken lover’s exile to be cast under spell to be buried as a Vampire by a jealous witch, who has a marked physical and emotionally depraved resemblance to AH, the little hitler of attack/activism. It is both tragic and hilarious, featuring a Ball helf for the town from the wealthy Collingswood family, featuring an amazing Alice Cooper performance, who are the relations of the Johnny Depp character, who is freed from the earth by construction workers to exact revenge for himself, his lover, and his family. Bug off about this film , it’s camp extrodinaire!

  8. Shelsays:

    I hope you are surrounded by good food and better company today. Your life is the greatest gift ever received. The world is thankful for you and the love you share. Have a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

    1. Shelsays:

      My wish for a Happy Thanksgiving is for everyone. Whether you eat caviar or Swedish fish I hope you are surrounded in love.

  9. G_Sweetsays:

    People hated this? I remember loving this movie so much i watched it like 3 times a month back when i had cable and it was on demand, was absolutely devastated when my mother had to get rid of the cable.

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