Dark Shadows | 2012
Although it’s set in coastal ‘Maine’, Dark Shadows was made entirely in England. Tim Burton’s homage to the cult US TV series of the 70s (which didn’t make it to the UK) is, of course, gloriously Gothic, but doesn’t contain any surprises. It suffers from pet project syndrome, and it feels time for Burton and Johnny Depp to move out of their comfort zone.
The centre of the story is the ‘Collinwood Manor’. After much location scouting, as far away as Scotland (Ecclesgreig Castle, near Montrose, supposedly an inspiration for the setting of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was a contender), the mansion was finally built from scratch in the familiar locale of The Bourne near Farnham, Surrey. The clearing, south of Dene Lane, off Tilford Road, southeast of Farnham, was used by Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe for both Gladiator and Robin Hood. More recently, the forest became the muddy battlefield of WWI for Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and saw Marvel’s hammer-wielding superhero battling inhuman hordes in Thor: The Dark World.
Amazingly, the fishing port of ‘Collinsport’ is a set built at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, making good use of the facility’s enormous water tank.
Although the towering cliffs are CGI, the rocky beach scenes were filmed on the south coast of Devon, at Great Mattiscombe Sands near Start Point, about nine miles from Kingsbridge.