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House of Dark Shadows

House of Dark Shadows (1970) starring Jonathon Frid, Louis Edmonds, Joan Bennett, Kathryn Leigh Scott

In House of Dark Shadows, a smitten vampire seeks a cure so he can wed the reincarnation of his lost love. In his quest, he wreaks deadly havoc upon the inhabitants of the Collinswood mansion.

Review

In short, the movie House of Dark Shadows tells the story of the reluctant vampire, Barnabus Collins, the classic Dark Shadows Gothic television series..  But with a difference.  This version of Barnabas isn’t the tortured, reluctant vampire.  He’s blood-thirsty, vicious and controlling, without the humanizing aspect.

House of Dark Shadows (1970) starring Jonathon Frid, Louis Edmonds, Joan Bennett, Kathryn Leigh Scott

It includes the basic setting, Barnabas’ infatuation with the beautiful young lady whom he thinks is his lost love reincarnated.  It also tells the story of the doctor attempting to be cured of his vampirism, being able to walk in sunlight again.  But “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned”, and the lady doctor overdoses the cure.  This causes Barnabas to age rapidly, and go on a killing spree.

Caroline Stoddard being staked as a vampire in House of Dark Shadows
Caroline Stoddard being staked as a vampire in House of Dark Shadows

Most of the original TV cast is included here, although some in slightly different roles. And, some of the characters have quite different fates. Also, since it’s a movie, it’s more graphic that the TV series.

In short, House of Dark Shadows is well-acted all around — including poor Willy.  The cinematography is good, as well as the pace.  For any fan of the TV series, you’ll enjoy this immensely.  And if not, this is an enjoyable introduction.

Editorial review of House of Dark Shadows courtesy of Amazon.com

Barnabas Collins, the most famous Vampire since Dracula, returns in this feature film adaptation of the famed television series “Dark Shadows”. On the ancient estate of Collinwood, a caretaker searching for treasure opens an old sealed coffin. Soon the residents of Collinwood are shocked by a series of gruesome attacks in which all the victims have a bizarre wound in common-two deep holes on the side ot their neck. As investigators search for the strange attacker, Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) arrives at Collinwood, claiming to be a relative from England.

Convinced of his authenticity, Roger Collins (Louis Edmonds) and his sister Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Joan Bennett) welcome Barnabas to Collinwood. When he meets the beautiful Maggie (Kathryn Leigh Scott) Barnabas is struck by her similarity to his lost love Josette. His passion resurrected, Barnabas begins to woo the young Maggie with the intention of making her his wife….for eternity. Color. 1970. 1 hour 38 minutes.