When I was very young, I used to be fascinated with horror movies. No, not the type with hatchets and chainsaws and lots of gore, but the kind with vampires, werewolves, witches and zombies, mummies and of course, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. These were the creatures of my nightmares, and I loved it!
From the years 1966 until 1971, ABC ran a popular soap opera with a horror theme. Dark Shadows was a serial that followed the eerie happenings in the Gothic town of Collinsport, Maine. I was only two years old when it started, but towards its end I had already begun my fascination with the genre and I'd be glued to the television nearly every single afternoon. I was always happily scared out of my wits by the likes of Barnabas Collins, one of the show's main characters and Collinsport's resident vampire, and his fellow inhabitants that included werewolves, witches and the like.
I particularly remember a scene that gave me nightmares. It took place in a mausoleum, and consisted of a little scuffle between a vampire, presumably Barnabas, and a werewolf. Those nightmares resulted in me not being allowed to watch the show any longer. Since I was only five or six at the time, it wasn't a big deal to me because there were many other things to keep me occupied, but I always kept a nostalgic interest in the series. When I was older, I once rented videos of the series, but found it to be too dated in its acting and very slow-moving (It was a soap opera, after all!), so I returned the videos to Blockbuster and forgot all about it, until now.
Recently I've been seeing ads for a new Dark Shadows movie coming out in May. It is directed by Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, of course, among many others. At first I was kind of excited. Ii thought that maybe they'd update the story into a more contemporary spin, with cool special effects like they have these days. Maybe the good old fashioned horror flick was back, at least for one movie, but from the looks of things, I think I might have been wrong. Here's the short synopsis of the film from IMDb:
An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.
"Dysfunctional?" That word has now led me to believe that maybe this new spin on an old story may just be a comedic one, which is not what I had hoped for, and the trailer seems to confirm it:
Ah well, I'm probably going to check it out anyway. I love comedies just as much as I like scary movies, so perhaps it will be entertaining at least. But I will say that I am a little disappointed!
To read more on the new Dark Shadows movie, check out the Daily Blam.