“I have found my Josette — and this time, there will be that wedding.”
A recently unleashed vampire (Jonathan Frid) woos a young woman (Kathryn Leigh Scott) who looks eerily like his long-lost love; meanwhile, a female doctor (Grayson Hall) with a crush on Frid attempts to “cure” him.
Based on the cult daytime television series “Dark Shadows” (1966-1971), this gothic horror tale is essentially an extended take on one of the show’s most popular storylines: a 235-year-old vampire named Barnabas Collins (Frid) who emerges from a centuries-long imposed slumber to wreak havoc on his modern-day descendants. It’s fairly standard fare, without much to distinguish it — though the sets are atmospheric, there are a few effectively scary sequences (including the graphic death of one newly “turned” vampire), and impressive make-up is used to age Collins (see still below). However, only true fans of the vampire genre — and/or fans of the original T.V. series — need bother seeking this one out. Watch for Joan Bennett in a small role as the family’s matriarch; she starred in the television series as well.
Note: According to TCM, House of Dark Shadows has the distinction of the being the only feature-length film based on a daytime soaper.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Atmospheric sets
- Effective aging make-up
No. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.