Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Dark Shadows

Go To

The series:

  • Ensemble Dark Horse: There's a reason this page is pretty much just about Barnabas, despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to be a permanent character.
    • Quentin Collins as well, who was purposely introduced to allow Jonathan Frid a personal life again.
      • Taken to the extreme in the 2012 movie, where Barnabas is now the protagonist.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show had a huge following in Mexico, and, due to its tendency to create completely new settings every few months, is sometimes acknowledged as an influence in the development of the telenovela.
  • Advertisement:
  • Growing the Beard: Around mid-1968 the show took on a Darker and Edgier tone with more ambitious Story Arcs and increased Character Development, and shortly after that it got Bloodier and Gorier as well.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The numerous mentions of nearby Bangor, now well known as the hometown of horror author Stephen King.
  • Narm: The forgotten or flubbed lines and general Ham and Cheese are major contributors. However..
  • Narm Charm: The series still has a fanbase forty years after ending for a reason.
  • Playing Against Type: Major movie star Joan Bennett in a daytime soap.
  • Screwed by the Network / Too Good to Last: The 1991 remake. It actually started off well. But the Gulf War at the time interrupted its timeslot which messed with it's rating. NBC eventually gave it the ax much to viewers dismay. Even a mass letter campaign and a picket protest (yes, really) didn't convince the network to put it back on the air.
  • Advertisement:
  • Win Back the Crowd: Episodes 915 — known by fans as the Emergency Leviathan Rescue Episode — and 936 were efforts by the writers to defuse the fandom backlash against Barnabas' villainous actions during the Leviathan arc.
  • The Woobie: Although he's not completely innocent, the suffering Willie Loomis goes through after releasing Barnabas from his coffin is well out of proportion with the severity of his misdeeds, and it's hard not to feel sympathy for the guy. The movie House Of Dark Shadows seems to realize this and majorly Throw the Dog a Bone. Even though Willie dies at the end, he finally is able to do the right thing he always wanted to do and be Maggie's hero when he helps save her from Barnabas.
    • This sentiment only works if you've not seen the pre-Barnabas episodes (as Willie was introduced in episode 199). Willie spent his first elevens as a Kick the Dog style henchman who threatened and terrorized every character in sight. Which made his treatment at Barnabas's very much karmatic given his earlier actions


The film:

  • Awesome Music: Danny Elfman's score, plus many great 70s anthems.
  • Cry for the Devil: One may feel sympathy towards Angelique - sure, her actions have been downright evil and she's a Manipulative Bastard, but she's also been repeatedly rejected by Barnabas and according to him, she "cannot love."
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Angelique may be an evil bitch but Barnabas, although he's comedic and trying to help his family, is a murderer several times over.
  • Designated Hero: Sure, Angelique is an Ax-Crazy Wicked Witch Yandere, but are we seriously going to overlook the fact that Barnabas's the one who toyed with her emotions, murdered way more people than Angelique did and received no punishment afterwards? Not to mention, him constantly cheating on "Victoria".
  • Director Displacement: Some of the advertising claims it's "From the mind of Tim Burton", despite the film actually being based on a cult-classic soap-opera.
  • Evil Is Cool/Evil Is Sexy: Angelique.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Would have been an outright Box Office Bomb if not for overseas grosses. (Its domestic gross was $79 million while its worldwide take was well over $200 million.)
  • Jerkass Woobie: As evil and manipulative as she might have been, it can still be hard not to feel a bitof sympathy for Angelique, ghiven that all she wanted was Barnabas's love.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Angelique crossed this line when she killed Barnabas' parents and drove Josette to suicide. Plus turning Barabas into a vampire in the first place and locking him in a box for nearly two hundred years.
      • Don't exaggerate, it was only 196.
    • Roger abandoning David.
  • Narm : When Angelique is breaking into pieces after she's defeated in the climax, she reaches into her chest and pulls out the fakest looking CGI heart you can possibly imagine. And holds it out to Barnabas, who simply stares at it, no doubt as confused as the audience.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Christopher Lee as Clarney.
  • Shocking Swerve: The reveal that Carolyn is a werewolf may come off as this to those who didn't notice the foreshadowing beforehand.
    • That's because it's a parody of the soap opera twists of the original.
  • Stoic Woobie: Maggie/Victoria.
  • Strangled by the Red String: The film's first two acts focus on Barnabas adjusting to the modern era and rebuilding the family empire while dealing with Angelique, but come the third act he and Victoria are declaring their love and embracing despite sharing all of three or four scenes beforehand.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Some fans are less than thrilled about the film's emphasis on broad comedy.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Or rather several. One of the film's major problems is that it has plenty of interesting plot threads - Baranabas' feud with Angelique, Barnabas trying to restore the family fortune and business, Maggie Evans' struggles with her past, David's issues with his dead mother and his deadbeat dad, Barnabas's relationship with Maggie, Barnabas trying to get himself cured, Vicki's attempts to become a vampire, Carolyn's issues, Josette's attempts to communicate with the living - but there are just too many of them, and there's only time to develop one or two properly in the relatively short amount of running time, rather than over a season's worth of episodes.
  • Trailer Joke Decay: "Are you stoned?" "They tried stoning me, my dear. It did not work."
  • Uncanny Valley: While being played by Ms. Fanservice Eva Green, Angelique still seems a little... off in the 70s scenes, her smile too wide and her make up seems less put on, more painted on which makes sense seeing as she seems to be made of porcelain.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Like many of Tim Burton's films, the film has an emphasis on visuals.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The trailer depicts the film as being an edgy, comedic remake of the original television show, targeted towards families. The actual film features a sex scene, multiple sexual references, and rather bloody attack scenes.
  • The Woobie:
    • David. His mother was killed at sea by Angelique before we meet him (he was only five years old at the time), and his father barely cares about him any more. Carolyn also belittles him somewhat due to how David thinks he can still communicate with his dead mother. His father then leaves to satisfy his own greed without even saying goodbye to him, and is then almost hit seconds later by a falling disco ball. Poor kid...
    • Barnabas, possibly with a bit of Iron Woobie in there. His parents were killed by Angelique after he rejected her advances, and after that, well, things went downhill fast after that. His beloved Josette was bewitched into falling to her death off Widow's Hill, then turned into a vampire and locked in a coffin for 200 (er, no, 196) years. Worst of all, when he finally is freed from the coffin, he has to see a world that has drastically changed since he last saw it, and how his descendants have suffered all because of Angelique's Kick the Dog moments towards them over the years.
    • Given how Angelique has been doling out numerous Kick the Dog moments to the Collins family thanks to Barnabas rejecting her love, and they've done absolutely nothing to deserve it (they're just the descendants of the man she couldn't have), they count as well.
    • You could easily count Angelique herself as a Woobie Destroyer of Worlds. Yes she has done a lot of things that are completely deplorable. Murdering Josette and Barnabas's parents. Turning Barnabas into a vampire and locking him in a box. Targeting Barnabas's innocent family members for almost two centuries after that. However the fact she was a servant and a witch in a time when witches could be and often were hanged or burned at the stake gives her some sympathy points. It's quite obvious that despite Angelique's sass... she has a pretty serious inferiority complex. And her feelings for Barnabas do seem to be genuine given that she had a crush on him from when they were children. You can't help but feel sorry for her over Barnabas using and then discarding her for another woman. Especially when he does it again in 1972. Sleeping with her then immediately telling her it can never happen again.

The Dynamite Comics comic book

  • Complete Monster: The vampire Lockwood was a Serial Killer in life before being attacked by Barnabas Collins. Surviving as a vampire and looking to sate his bruised ego, Lockwood begins turning children into vampires and has them murder their own families to "strengthen" them to serve as soldiers against Barnabas. After fleeing, Lockwood proceeds to slaughter more people and later allies with Barnabas's evil half, temporarily becoming human and celebrating by committing more murders just to see blood in the sunlight again. In the Bad Future, Lockwood helps butcher as much of the town of Collinport as he can while also trying to corrupt his former victim, the young vampire Emma. While Barnabas is a truly remorseful man looking to embrace his human side, Lockwood relishes in being a monster, whether as a human or as a vampire.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: