So, the movie.
The movie is terrible. It does nothing well. Nothing. There is no single thing in it that can be pointed to with a relieved, “Well, at least they got this part right.”
Even Danny Elfman was forgettable. Props for the flute, but no Cobert theme? Not once? Okay. Check, please.
The dee-lightful thing is that the same can be said of Burton’s PLANET OF THE APES. That was a film so ineptly executed that it made itself forgettable even as it unspooled before me. Like Ang Lee‘s HULK, it was so insubstantial — even as a failure — that it could be rebooted with nary a complaint. In the case of both the Burton POTA and the Ang Lee HULK (and the Burton-legacy of BATMAN, while we’re at it), their inanity led to really great genre films a few years later.
The worst thing that could happen to the DS franchise is not this movie. The worst thing would be if this movie had been successful in its authorial intent, leading people to say, “Well, with material like that, a parody is all that’s possible.”
The bad news is that we don’t have a DARK SHADOWS movie. The good news is that we also don’t have a DARK SHADOWS mockery. The best news is that the potential for more is still ripe.