A notorious Johnny Depp movie is leaving Hulu this weekend. Depp’s creative partnership with director Tim Burton worked wonders back in the 1990s, as the pair served up a triple bill of acclaimed movies in the form of Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and Sleepy Hollow.
Unfortunately, their work began to grow stale throughout the 2000s before things hit a new low with 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which managed to earn over a billion dollars at the box office despite mediocre reviews. But one further collaboration would flop with both critics, and in theaters.
Depp and Burton’s eighth, and to date final, time working together was 2012’s Dark Shadows. A cinematic adaptation of the cult favorite 1970s supernatural soap opera of the same name, the movie stars Depp as Barnabus Collins, a 19th century dandy who is transformed into a vampire by his jilted lover, witch Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), and ultimately buried alive by terrified villagers. In 1972, Barnabus finally escapes and sets about restoring his family to their former glory.
On paper, there’s much to recommend Dark Shadows. The supporting cast is terrific; Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Grace Moretz and even Alice Cooper all feature, while a story involving vamps, witches, werewolves, ghosts, and more seems like a perfect fit for Burton’s sensibilities.
Unfortunately, the film proved why there aren’t many movies based on soaps, as the plot is muddled and overcooked, with Burton failing to nail the tone, and the end result feeks like a camp parody of the original show.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a mere 35% score, with the audience rating not much higher at 46%. Still, Burton and Depp completists need to check it out, and Green’s scenery-chewing performance as the main villain is a delight. The clock is ticking on your chance to watch it, though, as Dark Shadows is set to be removed from Hulu today, December 31st.
While Johnny Depp’s career is in flux right now due to his legal troubles, Tim Burton is currently busy directing Netflix’s Wednesday, the latest live-action re-imagining of The Addams Family.