Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Reviews and Recommendations
Reload this Page >

"House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

DVD Reviews and Recommendations Read, Post and Request DVD Reviews.

"House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Old 09-23-16, 10:08 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Chad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Somewhere Hot Scoville Units: 9,999,999 Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Posts: 10,904
"House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5





House of Dark Shadows (1970)



Selected by rbrown498



Spoiler:



IMDB ENTRY

ALYXSTARR LINK

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
House of Dark Shadows doesn't fit "between" episodes of Dark Shadows, the TV show; it's a loose retelling of the first year or so of the Barnabas storyline. That should put it as having roughly the same basic plot of episodes 210 through 350 or so. Bear in mind that the movie had to have an ending, which the TV show didn't have at that point, so naturally it veers off into new territory near the end. I don't think that you'll encounter any spoilers, even if you've never seen the show and want to watch it afterwards. The movie has a completely different feel to it than the TV show. Where the TV show feels somewhat cramped and stage-bound and cheap, the movie, at least to me, feels more expansive, with all the flubs of the TV show gone and the ability to show a lot more blood. I'm not ashamed to say that it's my favorite vampire movie, the reasons for which I'll delve into during the discussion about the film when that day comes.

So don't worry--if you've seen through the early 300s, there are no major spoilers heading your way from the movie.
_______________________________________


These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags aren't always used in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
_______________________________________



S
P
O
N
S
O
R
E
D

B
Y




















S
P
O
N
S
O
R
E
D

B
Y



2016 DISCUSSION | 2016 LISTS


Last edited by Chad; 11-05-16 at 05:58 PM.
Chad is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 06:38 AM
  #2  
Moderator
 
TheBigDave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 10,418
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I wasn't crazy about House of Dark Shadows. I've never seen the Dark Shadows tv show. I'm sure if I'd been familiar with the characters/story, I would have appreciated it much more. But as a standalone vampire movie, I'd say it's below average. Personally, I prefer the vampire movies that Hammer was putting out at that time.

I followed this up with Night of Dark Shadows which I thought was better. I'm not sure if there was any storyline connection to the TV show. It wasn't a great film. But it was worth watching once.

After those two, I watched the Tim Burton & Johnny Depp reboot. That one was a blast. Easily my favorite of the 3 movies.
TheBigDave is online now  
Old 10-05-16, 01:19 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 7,912
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

These Dark Shadows movies are stand-alone from the series. You can think of them as being inspired by the general characters and storylines, but they're in a completely different continuity. Maybe there's an added enjoyment for series fans to see these "alternate" versions of the characters, but no familiarity with the series should be needed.

Since I'm working my way through the original series on DVD, I'm staying away from the movies this month since it will mess up my head
brainee is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 02:35 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
mrcellophane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Norman, OK
Posts: 1,511
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

While I think the film stands on its own, I was glad that I'd seen some of the show and was familiar with the characters. It was interesting to see some of the prominent characters such as Billy and Elizabeth get sidelined. On its own, it found it to be a fairly solid vampire flick with some nice atmosphere. After experiencing the slow burn of the show, it was fun to watch the manic dashing about and vampire attacks in the first ten minutes - a dozen episodes condensed down. Also, to was startling to see that amount of violence and character deaths.
mrcellophane is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 03:19 PM
  #5  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 34,229
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

My first Dark Shadows exposure and I loved it. Have the recent remake, but really wish I had Night of Dark Shadows now. Anyone find it streaming free anywhere?
Trevor is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 03:20 PM
  #6  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 124
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I used to be a fan of the tv series and had gone to see both of the films based on this soap opera when they were released to the theaters those many many,years ago, and I haven't really given them much thought since. I never did link Willie Loomis to Renfield until today and I have no idea why not since it's painfully obvious. The estate still stands and I have been thinking of visiting for a tour here in the very near future ....possibly around Halloween who knows? I know there was talk of a curse linked to Dark Shadows and there were some spooky occurances and if I'm not mistaken some deaths as well. I'll have to do a little research to refresh my memory .
3onameathook is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 03:29 PM
  #7  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 124
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
I wasn't crazy about House of Dark Shadows. I've never seen the Dark Shadows tv show. I'm sure if I'd been familiar with the characters/story, I would have appreciated it much more. But as a standalone vampire movie, I'd say it's below average. Personally, I prefer the vampire movies that Hammer was putting out at that time.

I followed this up with Night of Dark Shadows which I thought was better. I'm not sure if there was any storyline connection to the TV show. It wasn't a great film. But it was worth watching once.

After those two, I watched the Tim Burton & Johnny Depp reboot. That one was a blast. Easily my favorite of the 3 movies.
Yep there was a storyline connection to the t.v. show Angelique had been a thorn in the Collins family's side for centuries and if memory serves she is the one who had cursed Barnabas with vampirism....or at least had something to do with it. I'd have to re-watch to be certain . Personally I liked House better than I did Night of Dark Shadows.
3onameathook is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 05:13 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 3,451
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I've never watched the series but think the mix of low budget fast production soap opera and vampires could be amusing. I wonder how much of that quirkiness is lost on the film with what I imagine is a bigger budget – I understand some of the charm of the series is not allowing re-shoots due to quick schedule / limited budget so whatever happened happened.

Maybe in 1970 Dark Shadows didn't have as much legacy/notoriety (?) or they were just trying to be faithful to the soap opera (?) but it's anti-climatic how everyone runs around wondering what is going on for the first 20 minutes when it's painfully obvious. It’s slow moving (which again might make sense with a daily serial). The near spaghetti western style eye close-ups are amusing.

Some of the stage/theatrical elements really work. The vanity when Barnabas attacks Carolyn and insists that she has desecrated the room of his ex-fiancee is unusually bold even for a vampire movie.

So far only half way done; life keeps interrupting my horror viewings.
Undeadcow is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 08:17 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
numbercrunch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: new orleans
Posts: 465
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

i grew up watching the dan curtis movies. i like his style. House of Dark Shadows is no exception. His version of Dracula with Jack Palance and the Night Stalker films are all favorites of mine
numbercrunch is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 09:41 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
pacaway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 988
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I too was completely unfamiliar with the serial. I thought the movie was quite good. I enjoyed the quick pace and the characters. My only complaint would be with what seemed to be the abrupt editing. Scenes would seem to end oddly, and the music would change abruptly or just end. But all in all, I thought it was one of the best so far, but the month is young...
pacaway is offline  
Old 10-05-16, 11:27 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
rbrown498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,266
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Originally Posted by pacaway View Post
I thought the movie was quite good. I enjoyed the quick pace and the characters. My only complaint would be with what seemed to be the abrupt editing. Scenes would seem to end oddly, and the music would change abruptly or just end. But all in all, I thought it was one of the best so far, but the month is young...
pacaway, the reason the film has such abrupt scene endings is because MGM, in an effort to get the running time down to below 100 minutes (as a cost-cutting measure for making prints), just hacked hunks out of it at the last minute. If I'm remembering correctly, I think that they took out something like seven minutes, mostly by lopping off the beginnings and ends of scenes. They did an even worse hack job on Night of Dark Shadows, cutting out something like a half-hour of the film, leaving it pretty well incomprehensible.

So, as I promised, here are ten reasons why House of Dark Shadows is my favorite vampire film:

#10 If any house ever screamed "Put me in a horror movie!" it would be the Lyndhurst Estate. It's gorgeous, but it's also incredibly creepy looking. The best shot of the house in the film is when we see Barnabas's point of view as he walks up to the house for the first time. For me, no other vampire movie has a better setting.

#9 Dark Shadows (the soap opera) hit at a time when I was most impressionable--it was on ABC roughly from the time that I started kindergarten until I finished third grade. When I was in kindergarten, we had a maid that came over in the afternoons to babysit me and do various chores around the house. Every afternoon around 2:00, she'd set the ironing board up in front of the TV to watch her "stories" while she ironed. When Dark Shadows would come on, I'd sit under the ironing board and watch it with her, hiding behind her calves when it got too scary. Once Barnabas came aboard, suddenly Dark Shadows was everywhere. I owned two Dark Shadows items--a Gold Key comic book, and the "Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows Game," wherein you competed with friends to build skeletons by using a spinner to land on various bones. A free pair of plastic vampire fangs came in the game, and those were probably in my mouth daily for several years. And then the film came out, and I had to go see it, even though I was only eight. It made quite the impression.

#8 The music score by Robert Cobert is wonderfully atmospheric. At the time of the film, Dan Curtis hadn't used the cues to death in all of his other TV movies, so they were fresh. But even if they hadn't been, they fit the movie so well that I can't imagine it with any other score.

#7 I like the fact that the film is set primarily in two houses--sure, there's a scene at the Collinsport Inn, but other than that, it's mostly two houses and the outbuildings on their grounds. There's a certain intimacy involved with not having too many locations that works in the film's favor.

#6 I like the way the blood looks in the film. It's SO red that it looks hyper-real more than it looks fake. And I love the way that, when Barnabas pulls the arrow out of Willie Loomis's back, he just slings that bright red blood EVERYWHERE.

#5 The film moves like lightning. It covers a LOT of ground in 97 minutes. Part of this is due to the cuts imposed by the studio to make it shorter, but there's still enough plot in the film to easily have made two films out of it. I do appreciate that the film stops for a brief breather every once in a while, like the walk Barnabas takes with Maggie--his first time out in the sun in almost 200 years.

#4 A horror film from the late '60s and early '70s isn't complete without a cemetery scene. I love the funeral scene in this film--it's dreary, rainy, and everybody just looks miserable, as they should. It finds just the right tone, and it's even better that the scene ends with the echo of the mausoleum.

#3 I think that my irrational fear of empty swimming pools probably comes from this movie. As a kid, I found David's run-in with undead Carolyn to be awesomely frightening. I also like that she seems to have her own fog machine when she makes her appearance. The image of Carolyn, standing in the fog near the walls of the ruined indoor swimming pool, coaxing David to come closer to her, her dark eyes imploring, haunted my dreams for weeks after I first saw it. It still creeps me a out a little.

#2 Again with the Carolyn--I think that Nancy Barrett is perhaps the best-looking vampire in movie history. Her staking scene is hands-down my favorite scene in any vampire movie, ever. For me, it out-Hammers anything that Hammer ever did. Gorgeous actress + great costuming + lots of fang-baring + bloody staking = horror movie gold.

#1 I think that the thing I like best about House of Dark Shadows is that, by the end of the film, practically everyone has been either killed, turned into a vampire, or turned into a vampire and then killed (again). Yeah, Jeff and Maggie escape at the end, but there have been a LOT of deaths along the way. And even though it has a nominally happy ending, there is that final moment where Barnabas's body disappears and a bat flies away. I wish there had been a direct sequel, but as they had killed off most of the characters, they had to go in a different direction with Night of Dark Shadows.

Last edited by rbrown498; 10-06-16 at 10:21 AM.
rbrown498 is offline  
Old 10-06-16, 02:20 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
DaveyJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 18,562
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I am twenty minutes into this and I don't understand how this movie is supposed to stand on its own. I have no idea who any of these characters are. There's been no exposition or introduction to anybody, and it mostly seems to be characters calling out other characters' names in dark hallways.
DaveyJoe is offline  
Old 10-06-16, 05:57 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
pacaway's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 988
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
pacaway, the reason the film has such abrupt scene endings is because MGM, in an effort to get the running time down to below 100 minutes (as a cost-cutting measure for making prints), just hacked hunks out of it at the last minute. If I'm remembering correctly, I think that they took out something like seven minutes, mostly by lopping off the beginnings and ends of scenes. They did an even worse hack job on Night of Dark Shadows, cutting out something like a half-hour of the film, leaving it pretty well incomprehensible.

So, as I promised, here are ten reasons why Dark Shadows is my favorite vampire film:

#10 If any house ever screamed "Put me in a horror movie!" it would be the Lyndhurst Estate. It's gorgeous, but it's also incredibly creepy looking. The best shot of the house in the film is when we see Barnabas's point of view as he walks up to the house for the first time. For me, no other vampire movie has a better setting.

...

#2 Again with the Carolyn--I think that Nancy Barrett is perhaps the best-looking vampire in movie history. Her staking scene is hands-down my favorite scene in any vampire movie, ever. For me, it out-Hammers anything that Hammer ever did. Gorgeous actress + great costuming + lots of fang-baring + bloody staking = horror movie gold.

#1 I think that the thing I like best about House of Dark Shadows is that, by the end of the film, practically everyone has been either killed, turned into a vampire, or turned into a vampire and then killed (again)...
Thanks! That definitely explains the editing.

I thought the shot near the end when Jeff was approaching the house through the trees was the best shot of the house. Ditto on Carolyn... gorgeous, and a great scene, however I thought the scene where Maggie is being lead down the stairs to the "wedding" was awesome as well. When you watch the trailer (which is FAR too revealing) you can really see how nice the film restoration was when it briefly shows that scene.

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe View Post
I am twenty minutes into this and I don't understand how this movie is supposed to stand on its own. I have no idea who any of these characters are. There's been no exposition or introduction to anybody, and it mostly seems to be characters calling out other characters' names in dark hallways.
You were probably about 5 minutes away from when someone finally gives an exposé. At least explained it enough for me to catch up.
pacaway is offline  
Old 10-06-16, 12:37 PM
  #14  
Cool New Member
 
mrm1138's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 33
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I have fairly mixed feelings about this movie. Part of it can be explained by MGM's haphazard re-editing, but a lot of it comes down to Dan Curtis's direction. This is supposed to be a theatrical feature, but it never really overcomes having a made-for-TV feel. Curtis had only directed for television—stagey daytime drama, at that—and that comes across loud and clear. The thing is that I even think Curtis's later TV movies are hampered by his flat style. Compare Curtis's The Night Strangler to its predecessor, The Night Stalker. The latter was directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, who had worked in both television and film, and I find it to be far superior on a technical level.
mrm1138 is offline  
Old 10-06-16, 01:13 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
DaveyJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Maryland
Posts: 18,562
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5



House of Dark Shadows (1970)

When I was very young, I used to watch Dark Shadows on syndication after school. However, I remember nothing about the show except that it featured a vampire named Barnabus. Luckily, this film is an adaption of his storyline from the daytime drama, but unfortunately, it does a poor job connecting the dots with other characters for viewers unfamiliar with the show. The first ten minutes feature one girl searching for a character named David, stopping to chat with people along the way. Who are these people? Who is David? How do any of these characters relate to each other? A young boy suddenly appears lurking around corners, and we eventually realize that this is supposed to be David, and it's not until about 20 minutes later that I realized a character we all ready met, who seemed unconcerned about David's whereabouts, is supposed to be his father. The entire film played out like this for me, I was struggling to catch subtle hints as to how these characters related to each other, so I wasn't as invested in the story as I would have been if I was a fan of the series. I started to catch up after the first act, but there were still some characters that seemed to be there just because they were prominent in the show.

Having said all of that, the production was very good for a film adaptation of a soap opera. Barnabus is a pretty compelling character, often charming but quite menacing when his vampire persona takes over. The core of the story is him trying to become human so he can marry a young girl that looks just like his long lost love. The film really hits its stride when Barnabus starts claiming victims, and the scenes of Vampires emerging from their coffins and stalking prey are quite effective. I thought there was a surprising amount of jump scares for an early 70s gothic drama. One scene features Barnabus rapidly aging to a horrifying monster which I found pretty unsettling, they had some great makeup for that. The editing was quite bizarre, with scenes ending abruptly and jumping to other characters in mid-conversation. This happened several times throughout the film, and was quite jarring. Overall, it was okay, but I think its better appreciated by fans of the TV show.
DaveyJoe is offline  
Old 10-13-16, 11:47 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
The Man with the Golden Doujinshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Mister Peepers
Posts: 7,883
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe View Post
quite jarring. Overall, it was okay, but I think its better appreciated by fans of the TV show.
I'd been watching the show at the time and I found a lot of it jarring as they crammed in a lot of episodes into such a short period of time. I'm talking weeks of episodes into 5-10 minute periods. You can tell when they weren't doing that if you watched a scene that went at a normal pace, like Carolyn getting taken care of. They just focused on that and not a zillion other plots at the same time.

If I hadn't already known what was going on in the show, I would have been so lost at the beginning and hated this thing.
The Man with the Golden Doujinshi is offline  
Old 10-14-16, 11:43 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Chad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Somewhere Hot Scoville Units: 9,999,999 Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
Posts: 10,904
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Wow. I watched two episodes before the film and that was an interesting transition going from wobbly sets to good products values. I wasn't sure if rehashing the same storylines would work, but color me impressed. The entire family being in on the vampire mayhem was a nice change after hearing "it's only your imagination" umpteen times on the series. And most importantly, no Alexandra Moltke!

Still, this is my mind trying to comprehend the changes as I'm watching ... If Maggie was the new Vicky, well, why was she still Maggie? If Jeff Clark was dating Maggie does that mean Peter Bradford never existed? Or perhaps Maggie was the one who time traveled to 1795? Why no mention whatsoever of Angelique? Who the hell's Todd? Why was Nicholas Blair posing as a doctor? Where's Joe? Was Jason McGuire killed offscreen? Where's Sam? Did the car wreck 10 years prior never happen and Burke Devlin never returned to Collinsport? If so, is Bill Malloy still alive? If Maggie got the governess job does that mean Victoria never left the foundling home? ...

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
#5 The film moves like lightning. It covers a LOT of ground in 97 minutes. Part of this is due to the cuts imposed by the studio to make it shorter, but there's still enough plot in the film to easily have made two films out of it. I do appreciate that the film stops for a brief breather every once in a while, like the walk Barnabas takes with Maggie--his first time out in the sun in almost 200 years.
Does a longer cut exist?
Chad is offline  
Old 10-15-16, 12:10 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
rbrown498's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,266
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Originally Posted by Chad View Post
Does a longer cut exist?
Yes, and no.

Several years ago, film archivist and Dark Shadows superfan Darren Gross went searching for the trims to this film and the follow-up, Night of Dark Shadows. NODS had undergone a much more brutal evisceration, with over half an hour cut out, so that was the main focus of Gross's search.

While he was at it, he found most of the missing chunks of House of Dark Shadows and was able to piece together a reconstructed version. Warner Brothers has never had any interest whatsoever in this version, so I think that Gross probably has the lone copy of it at the moment. From what I understand, his reconstructed version is not up to release standards, as it still needs quite a bit of work to clean it up properly.

I know that in the early 2000s Darren Gross was asking if anyone had 16mm prints of the film or VHS copies from other countries, as there had been, at one point, a scene near the beginning of the film where David had staged his own hanging to scare Maggie. The scene had been shot, and had been in the cut that was to go to theaters, but apparently the head of MGM ordered it excised because he didn't want kids trying to duplicate the stunt. Apparently, however, the scene was left intact in some of the 16mm non-theatrical prints that went out, and it was possible that the same version had been used for foreign video sales. I was living in Japan at the time and checked all of my local stores for the VHS, but none of them had it. That scene still hasn't been found.

If you want to envision what the uncut film was like, you can pick up either The Dark Shadows Movie Book, which contains the shooting scripts for both films, or the paperback novelization of House of Dark Shadows, which was based on the shooting script. For the time being, those are probably your only ways to experience House of Dark Shadows in anything approximating its original form.
rbrown498 is offline  
Old 10-24-16, 12:22 AM
  #19  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
clckworang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The toe nail of Texas
Posts: 7,308
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

Originally Posted by DaveyJoe View Post
I am twenty minutes into this and I don't understand how this movie is supposed to stand on its own. I have no idea who any of these characters are. There's been no exposition or introduction to anybody, and it mostly seems to be characters calling out other characters' names in dark hallways.
Originally Posted by mrm1138 View Post
I have fairly mixed feelings about this movie. Part of it can be explained by MGM's haphazard re-editing, but a lot of it comes down to Dan Curtis's direction. This is supposed to be a theatrical feature, but it never really overcomes having a made-for-TV feel. Curtis had only directed for television—stagey daytime drama, at that—and that comes across loud and clear. The thing is that I even think Curtis's later TV movies are hampered by his flat style. Compare Curtis's The Night Strangler to its predecessor, The Night Stalker. The latter was directed by John Llewellyn Moxey, who had worked in both television and film, and I find it to be far superior on a technical level.
Both of these comments largely echo my thoughts. Is it possible for a movie to be too slow and too fast? In the beginning of the movie, I had no idea who anyone was or what was going on. Then things finally slowed down, but they slowed way down. The movie finally started to pick up a little steam, but it just didn't grab me like I hoped.

I think some of these gripes are because the movie wasn't able to completely overcome its daytime TV origins. It just didn't seem to be paced quite right.

Also, I know it has been said that this movie stands alone, but I still can't escape the feeling that I was really missing something by not having previously watched the show.

To finish with something positive, I liked old Barnabas. I thought the makeup effects were pretty effective for that scene.
clckworang is offline  
Old 10-26-16, 07:56 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 13,235
Re: "House of Dark Shadows" Reviews/Discussion - 2016 Horror Challenge: Day 5

I enjoyed this but I think it was more due to me currently watching the TV show (around episode #325 right now) than it being an actually good movie or story. I feel that may be clouding me judgement on it but I could also be wrong and it is just enjoyable on its own.

I had a lot of fun seeing the characters either die, act differently or just being on a more expensive set with better camera quality than usual.

No Vicky which was nice. Maggie looks homely on the TV show but she looked fantastic in this. Carolyn was even hotter than usual. Not sure what they did to Julia's hair for this movie but it looked like she had been frightened throughout the movie.

It was interesting seeing Thayer David as a completely different character since I was only used to him as the curmudgeonly Matthew. Nice to see Roger but I wish he had been given more to do. Same with Elizabeth. And where was Joe? Nice to go several episodes without hearing Maggie say "Pop" every few seconds.

Wonder why they changed the music box theme for the movie? Jonathan Frid was good though it was strange not seeing him trip over his lines as usual. He has a completely different delivery in this movie then he does on the show which actually changes the character a little bit.

All in all, I enjoyed this but it certainly felt like a TV movie instead of a theatrical release.

And someone please tell me why Todd kept calling Carolyn, "Carol Ann" the entire time. Does he not know the name of his own girlfriend?
Spiderbite is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.