The Johnny Depp Horror Film That Deserves More Attention

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  The Johnny Depp Horror Film That Deserves More Attention

The premise of Tim Burton’s film is downright straightforward when compared to the convoluted machinations of the original TV show: In 1760, a young Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), the wealthy heir of a local industry family, spurns the romantic advances of his house servant Angelique (Eva Green). Angelique, secretly a witch, will kill Barnabas’ parents in retaliation and curses Barnabas so that every person he ever loves will die. Barnabas sees the curse play out when his fiancée Josette (Bella Heathcote) throws herself off a cliff. In an attempt to take his own life, Barnabas is foiled by being transformed into a vampire. He’s attacked by the locals and buried alive, only to be exhumed in 1972 (by a construction crew building a new McDonald’s), still alive, and now having to contend with a modern world he does not understand. 

And, yes, Barnabas immediately falls in love with a woman named Victoria who just happens to look exactly like his fallen Josette (and who is also played by Bella Heathcote). Barnabas moves back into his now-dilapidated family estate Collinwood, and sets about restoring the family to its former glory from 200 years previous, having to form uneasy alliances with his surviving descendants, most notably Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), the family’s matriarch. Barnabas also has a Renfield-like servant (Jackie Earle Haley), a shrink (Helena Bonham Carter), a sniveling brother-in-law (Johnny Lee Miller), and a snarky teen niece (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is having none of this. Oh yes, and Angelique is still alive and is still carrying a torch for Barnabas. When Angelique and Barnabas make love, they get so excited they defy gravity.  Paper Flight

There are secret passages, dramatic reveals (at least one of the previously mentioned characters is a werewolf), and cold, stagey (hilarious) declarations of intent. Also, there’s a ghost. And Alice Cooper, playing himself.

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