Wondering Whether or Not to Let Your Grandchild See Dark Shadows?

By Ranny Levy

Ranny Levy, Founder and President KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children's Media http://www.kidsfirst.org

The film Dark Shadows opens this weekend to an eagerly awaiting audience of both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp fans. Based on the ABC daytime show which aired during the late 1960s which generated a cult following, what was taken seriously in the late 60s / early 70s comes across as comedy today. The majority of the movie is set in 1972 and incorporates music from the Moody Blues (Nights in White Satin) with appearances by Karen Carpenter in a TV scene, a cameo appearance by Alice Cooper and appearances by four of the original Dark Shadows actors including Jonathan Frid who passed away shortly after filming.

You should know that the film’s PG-13 rating is based on comic horror violence, sexual content , drug use, language and smoking. To help you make your decision, take a look at what one of our 14-year-old critics, Raven Deanney has to say about it. She rated it 6 out of 5 stars specifying the age recommendation of ages 13 and up. Here’s her take:

Dark Shadows
Reviewed by Raven Devanney

Raven, Movie Reviewer for KidsFirst!

Video review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2NE6UPSLcM

Dark Shadows is a hilarious movie about a man named Barnibus Collins, who is cursed by an evil witch when he refuses to give her his love. Turned into a vampire, Barnibus is locked away in a coffin for two centuries. Now, freed by unsuspecting construction workers, Barnibus finds that his home town of Collins Port has drastically changed. He must learn to fit into the 70s while protecting his family, restoring Collins Port to its former glory and riding himself of the evil witch, Angelique, who cursed him to be a creature forced to hide in dark shadows.

I absolutely loved this movie. Johnny Depp, who plays Barnibus Collins, did fantastic! Johnny is one of my all time favorite actors and when he teams up with director Tim Burton, you know it’s a film worth seeing. The cinematography was great because of the gloominess that you will often find in Tim Burton’s films, but they found a flawless way to thrown in the bright colors of the 70’s.  The special effects were great too, especially in the end when Angelique’s skin started to crack; she really looked as if she was made out of porcelain. Something that did bother me about the visuals was that the blood in the film looked way to fake considering that it is a vampire movie.

My favorite character would have to be that daughter of the Collins family played by Chloe Moretz. One; she is my favorite young actress, two; she played a moody, mellow dramatic, angsty teenager perfectly.  The acting in this film was priceless because there was a lot of over-acting, but not in a cheesy way, it was done very purposefully and it gave a wonderful comedic feel to dramatic situations.

I suggest this film for ages 13 and up because of sexual situations, mild drug use and language. On a scale of 1-5 I would give this film 6 stars because it far surpassed my expectations! Be sure to see Dark Shadows in a theater near you with all of your friends!!

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