What always impressed me about 'Night of Dark Shadows' was it's subtlety. 'House of Dark Shadows' was fast, loud and very "in your face." 'Night of Dark Shadows' is quiet in comparison -- the music is lush and softer, and the pace is quite relaxed at times. However, what emerges is an underlying sense of dread which intensifies throughout the course of the film (similar to Dan Curtis' 'Burnt Offerings' from 1976). This makes the shocks and scares even more jarring, and by the end of the film, the audience is left feeling bewitched, bothered and bewildered!
It's also important to mention David Selby, who turns in an excellent performance as Quentin Collins. His moodswings and erratic behavior (sensitive one minute and vicious the next), leave us as confused as Kate Jackson's character is.
Hopefully, both 'Night of Dark Shadows' and 'House of Dark Shadows' will be released on DVD soon, with the additional footage that was removed from the films before their respective theatrical releases. As for now, both films are highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed the series.
Sad and lopsided as it plays, shorn of a conclusion, with exposition torn away in jagged strips, "Night of Dark Shadows" astonishingly still contains a quality that begs to be enjoyed. Boasting a more polished production than the previous film, it seizes upon the first film's strengths in style and narrative, honing them for marriage with a far superior script and markedly more mature style. Whereas "House of Dark Shadows" replays as a succession of loud shouting set pieces, "Night" utlises its creative peaks to punctuate a highly charged and atmospheric narrative, which is eloquently conveyed throughout by the cast, dialogue and production.
Weaving deftly through classic literary achetypes and familiar "Dark Shadows" storylines, the script impresses throughout, with its wistful themes of eternal love and ghostly reincarnation, along with a deeply human side that inspires sympathy.Read more ›