On Friday, a very boring movie called Dark Shadows gets released into theaters. The new film brings together Johnny Depp (The Astronaut's Wife) and director Tim Burton (Big Fish) for their
first eighth collaboration. Ahead, we answer every question that you could possibly have about Dark Shadows.
Q: Have you ever fallen asleep while watching a movie at a theater before?
Q: How many times did you almost fall asleep during Dark Shadows?
Q: Should Dark Shadows be considered a medically approved treatment for insomnia?
A: Honestly, if I ever develop a sleeping disorder, I want to hear my doctor say, "I've prescribed you Ambien and a copy of Dark Shadows. Please do not mix the two."
Q: Is Dark Shadows really that bad?
A: It's not that it's that bad, it's just so boring. Which, I guess means that it is that bad.
Q: What is Dark Shadows about?
A: For the most part, it's about satisfying the egos of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp.
Q: Aren't there vampires in Dark Shadows? People love vampires.
A: Johnny Depp plays an 18th century vampire named Barnabas Collins. I think. I mean, he's a vampire, but he was cursed to be a vampire instead of the "turned by another vampire"-way that is popular these days.
Q: Who cursed Barnabas to be a vampire?
A: A witch named Angelique (Eva Green), who is in love with Barnabas.
Q: If she's in love with Barnabas, why does she curse him to be a vampire?
A: Because Barnabas doesn't love her. It's a little more complicated than this, but I'll just leave it at that because the chances are you will never see this movie.
Q: Wait, I thought this movie was set during the 1970s?
A: Most of the movie is set in 1972. Barnabas is buried underground for about 200 years and awakes to wacky hijinks.
Q: What kind of wacky hijinks?
A: The kind of, "Oh, the future" stuff we've seen done better in movies from Blast From the Past to Marvel's The Avengers. For example, Barnabas is frightened by a McDonald's sign.
Q: So Barnabas is a comedic character?
A: That's one of the biggest problems with this movie. One minute, Barnabas is staring at a television spouting off lines like, "What sorcery is this?" The next, he's brutally murdering some hippies who make the mistake of being his friend.
Q: Wasn't Dark Shadows a television show?
A: Yes, it was. Though, it appears that very few people have ever seen the television show -- outside of my girlfriend, for reasons I still don't quite understand.
Q: On a boredom scale, what movie were you reminded on while watching Dark Shadows?
A: On a pure boredom scale, Dark Shadows is reminiscent of Ordinary People. To be fair to Ordinary People, my mother made me watch the movie when I was six years old. There is still a little part of me trapped forever in that theater watching Ordinary People, just like there will always be a part of me trapped forever watching Dark Shadows.
Q: If you're going to be blurbed in this weekend's commercials for Dark Shadows, what quote do you think will be used?
A: "Dark Shadows is reminiscent of the Academy Award-winning movie, Ordinary People!" Mike Ryan, The Huffington Post
Q: Does Barnabas seek revenge against Angelique? Does he use his vampire powers to try to destroy her?
A: Barnabas uses his business knowledge in an attempt to destroy her stake in the fishing industry. Also: I'm serious. This is what Dark Shadows is about. I'm reading that sentence over and over, thinking, Is that right? That can't be right.
Q: If I see Dark Shadows, will I hear "Top of the World" by The Carpenters in its entirety?
Q: Are there any cameos from musicians playing themselves?
A: For reasons that I will never understand, Alice Cooper is in this movie. That's really nothing against Alice Cooper, but -- like all human being who were alive in 1972 -- the real Cooper has aged 40 years. Even though he's playing a version of himself that should look 24, not 64.
Q: What was worse: an older Cooper playing a younger version of himself in Dark Shadows or an older Elvis Costello playing a younger version of himself in 200 Cigarettes?
A: Elvis Costello.
Q: Is the phrase "dark shadows" spoken in Dark Shadows?
A: Yes. Barnabas speaks the sentence, "Dark shadows of one's soul." Which I can only assume is a reference to the part of the soul that is aware real-life human beings might spend money to see this movie.
Q: Wait, aren't there a lot of good actors in this movie? Like Michelle Pfeiffer, Jackie Earle Haley and Chloë Moretz?
A: Yes, all of those people are good actors and, yes, all of those people are in Dark Shadows. How that correlates here, I'm not sure.
Q: What's the limit on how many times I should see Marvel's The Avengers before I see Dark Shadows. In other words: If I've seen The Avengers seven times, should I see Dark Shadows instead of seeing The Avengers for an eighth time?
A: If those are your only two options, I seem to be having a hard time finding the symbol for infinity on my keyboard.
Q: What's the best thing about Dark Shadows?
A: That I'll never have to see it again.
Q: On a scale of one to ten, how worried are you that Warner Bros. will hold your hatred of Dark Shadows against you when The Dark Knight Rises is released?
Q: If you were forced at gunpoint to say something nice about Dark Shadows, what would you say?
A: I'd say "Holy shit, man. Why is my opinion about Dark Shadows eliciting such an extreme response? It's not worth it. Please, let me live! I have a pet turtle, who will feed it? OK, OK, the movie is aesthetically pleasing at times! Please put that gun away!"
Q: Did anything good come out of seeing Dark Shadows?
A: Yes. Immediately after the screening, a few colleagues and myself developed a new game called, "How much would someone have to pay you to sit through that movie again right now?" The consensus with Dark Shadows was $60.
Mike Ryan is senior entertainment writer for The Huffington Post. He has written for Wired Magazine, VanityFair.com and GQ.com. He really did not like Dark Shadows. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
Follow Mike Ryan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mikeryan