Disclaimer: I love the actors Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Helen Bonham Carter. I think they are actual artists, playing a variety of believable characters in differing genres.
It was with a feeling of happy anticipation that I began watching "Dark Shadows", though I never saw the TV series that this movie is based on. While I had no preconceived notions about either the characters or the story, I did watch a movie trailer, which made the movie seem like a comedic fantasy. In fact, it's hard to classify the movie. It tells the story of a man and the woman he turned down, a woman who just happens to be a practicing evil witch.
Overall, I felt rather "bleh" at the end of the movie. The actors and actresses in the movie provided outstanding performances, matching the over-the-top feeling of the movie, while he house made me wish to build my own secret passages. But the surrealistic feeling of the movie detracted from the story, instead of adding to it. And the last few scenes felt out of place, using deus ex machina to take care of the big, bad witch, help Victoria with her ghost problem, and give Barnabas a happy-ever-after ending.
So while I laughed at Barnabas confusing the McDonald's sign with Mephistopheles, I can only give this movie 3 stars out of five.