‘Dark Shadows’: A Peek Inside Collinwood Manor

Pictures revealing the manor's entryway and grand staircase have a distinctly old-school Tim Burton feel.
By John Mitchell

Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer in "Dark Shadows"
Photo: Warner Bros.

Here we are again, folks. We're about two months away from the release of "Dark Shadows" and we still don't have a trailer.

It's a little disconcerting that a film this big and anticipated doesn't have an official trailer out yet. But since there's not much we can do about that, let's talk about the latest thing to creep into the Shadowsverse this week: pictures of Collinwood Manor.

For those unfamiliar with the '60s soap, the manor is the principal setting for the action of "Shadows." When Barnabas (Johnny Depp) returns to Collinwood in 1972 after, you know, a few centuries buried in a mausoleum, he finds the once-grand estate in disrepair. His dysfunctional descendents who now reside at the grand manor haven't fared much better. Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) has brought psychiatrist Dr. Julia Hoffman (Helena Bonham Carter) to live at Collinwood to help with her with her family's assorted troubles, including her rebellious teenage daughter, Carolyn (Chloë Moretz), and her ne'er-do-well brother Roger's troubled 10-year-old son, David (Gulliver McGrath).

Up until now, we've mostly been getting nothing but character portraits, so it's nice to get a glimpse inside the grand house. The pictures that found their way online this week are of the manor's grand staircase and of Barnabas and Willie Loomis (Jackie Earle Haley) checking out the elaborate detailing in the marble entryway.

The ornate staircase is pure Burton, with carved wood railings that give off a snake-like effect and an elaborate blue Victorian rug. We can see that the ceilings are vaulted in the style of traditional Gothic architecture and the whole thing is punctuated by a thin, nearly two-story window.

As for the marble entry, it's just as elaborate. In the image, we see Depp examining a frieze depicting what looks like the Roman god Neptune (or some sort of sea-like theme). Also Gothic in style, the marble archway behind them is likely the entrance to the manor.

We say likely, of course, because we really have no idea ... because there's still no trailer giving us any other perspective on Collinwood.

Both images are super cool and a little bit creepy, two adjectives that also describe the best of Burton's flicks. The set design certainly creates a great deal of atmosphere and is vaguely reminiscent of the styling created for Burton's "Sleepy Hollow," which wasn't a perfect flick but had a distinctly Burtonian feel to it. We hope we can say the same for "Shadows." I suppose we'll get a better sense of that when the trailer finally drops.

The sooner the better, Tim. The sooner the better!

What do you think of Collinwood? Is it as creepy as you'd like it to be? Let us know in the comments below and tweet me at @JohnMitchell83 with your thoughts and suggestions for future columns!

Check out everything we've got on "Dark Shadows."

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