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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2012), PG-13 [HARD R-13*] (108min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Production (US): Warner Brothers Pictures presents in association with Village Roadshow Pictures an Innfinitum Nihil/GK Films production, a Zanuck Company production a Tim Burton Film
Distribution (US): Warner Home Video
Director(s): Tim Burton
Producer(s): Katterli Frauenfelder, Chris Lebenzon, Nigel Gostelow, Tim Headington, Bruce Berman, Graham Kind, Johnny Depp, Christi Dembrowski, David Kennedy, Richard D. Zanuck
Story by: John August, Seth Grahame-Smith
Screenplay by: Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on the TV Series created by Dan Curtis
Cinematography/Camera: Bruno Delbonnel
Music: Danny Elfman
Film Editing: Chris Lebenzon
Casting: Susie Figgis
Production Design: Rick Heinrichs
Viewed on Warner Home Video DVD
Dark Shadows is as R-equivalent a PG-13 can get. With a final score of three out of 100 it is a deeply R-equivalent PG-13. Its content earned R-equivalent scores in all six of the content investigation areas: zero out of 100 in four of them. This film is the lowest scoring PG-13 of the 479 we have analyzed.
In the year 1760 the Collins family, Joshua (Ivan Kaye), Naomi (Susanna Cappellaro) and young Barnabas (Johnny Depp), a European family of wealth and privilege, sailed to the new World to expand the Collins empire. The filmmakers make it a point to show a young girl of Barnabas' age, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) on the docks as the Collins' disembarked, to have an attraction to Barnabas.
The Collins brought English industry to the wilds of Maine. They built a fishing business "the likes of which America had never seen." So vast had the business grown the town of Collinsport grew with it. So, there they decided to stay and over 15 years built Collinwood Manor.
Now a wealthy and prosperous grown man, Barnabas found himself in the romantic sights of Angelique, the girl on the docks of Liverpool. But Barnabas could not reciprocate Angelique's love. Unbeknownst to Barnabas, Angelique is a witch. She cast a spell that killed Barnabas' parents.
Barnabas was not convinced the concrete fixture on Collinwood Manor falling on his parents was an accident so he become obsessed with evil magic and curses. Though grief-stricken, Barnabas' dark life was not without light. Into his life came Josette (Bella Heathcote), his one true love. Still jilted by Barnabas' rejection of her, Angelique cast yet another spell to cause Josette to commit suicide off Window's Hill.
In his despondence Barnabas followed Josette off the cliff ... but did not die. Angelique wanted Barnabas' pain to go on forever so she changed him into an immortal vampire so that his suffering would never end. Convincing the townspeople that Barnabas was a monster Angelique led them to mob Barnabas and bind him with chains then bury him in a casket where he remained -- with his pain -- for over 200 years.
It is now 1972. Enters Maggie Evans, a Josette lookalike (played by the same actress - Bella Heathcote) who changed her name arbitrarily to Victoria Winters to serve as nanny for young David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) who sees his dead mother. David is the son of Elizabeth Collins Stoddard (Michelle Pfeiffer) and nephew of Roger Collins (Johnny Lee Miller) of the Collinwood estate.
Shortly after the arrival of Victoria Barnabas is discovered and released by 11 construction workers. After killing all 11 of the workers Barnabas returned to his ancestral home, Collinwood Manor to discover it in a state of severe disrepair and the remaining descendants quite dysfunctional. Barnabas promised to restore the home of his parents and the family fortune ... by whatever means he could.
There is, of course, much more to the story and plot but I will spoil no more of it.
Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report, the heart of the CAP Analysis Model, is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 17 out of 100
Twice Barnabas is buried alive. Once he is changed to a vampire the scenes of him with blood on his face are numerous. Angelique threatens to kill Barnabas if he doesn't love her. Roger commits robbery. The house servant Willie Loomis (Jack Earle Haley) is accessory to murder. The audience is exposed to numerous bullets hitting flesh. A long sequence of action violence is seen and Angelique is seen removing her own heart by hand.
While none of these instances of violence/crime are all that extreme or graphic, there are enough of them to evaporate more than 80% of the starting 100 points of this investigation area. God has some specific things to say about violence, heavy violence and slight alike. More than 50 times from the Old Testament to the New Testament God admonishes us against violence and embracement of it (such as enjoying or being stimulated by it in and as entertainment). Proverb 16:29 "summarizes" His Word about violence rather succinctly. In Proverb 16:29 God warns that violence is "catching": that it can lead one into the path that is not good. Further, man has plagiarized God's Word by four professional public health agencies publishing that viewing violence in and as entertainment can, among other things, lead the observer, especially the young into real life violence and can lead the observer to believe violence is an effective means of settling conflict.
Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Eighteen times someone utters some form of profanity plus once by a teen [Col. 3:8, Eph: 4:29]. Maggie falsifies her identity. Fifteen year old Carolyn Stoddard (Chlo‘ Grace Moretz) expresses arrogance, disrespect and rebellion a number of times. [Heb. 13:17] Angelique extorts Barnabas and others. [Prov. 3:31] Rodger is rather rude once. A number of the characters employ lies [Rev. 21:8]. Roger abandons his nephew David for money instead of fathering the boy.
Sexual Immorality (S) - 1 out of 100
While there is no nudity in the entire 108 minutes of the show, there is enough sexually immoral content to lose 99% of the starting 100 points in this investigation area, most of it by the Angelique character and the Barnabas character as they engage in insane foreplay. Intercourse is suggested but nothing of the actual act is seen. There is heavy kissing, open mouth kissing, reference to masturbation, four women in very short outfits, positioning for oral sex, inappropriate touch such as a woman groping a man's privates and more. Much more, far too many to summarize in a reasonable amount of space here. Please inspect the listing in the Sexual Immorality section of the Findings/Scoring section for a full accounting of the sexually immoral content of this film. [Eccl. 8:11, Rev. 21:8, Prov. 30:20, Mark 7:20 - 21, Gal. 5:19 and many more]
Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
The American College of physicians (ACP) found that exposing youth (such as the PG-13 age stratum) to alcohol and drinking of it in and as entertainment leads many of them to experiment and violate law with alcohol. The 2002 study by the ACP revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The report entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was
Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
Here is where the heaviest concentration of assaults on morality and His Word lie. Far too many instances to even try to summarize here. Please look to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a full accounting of the content of this film applicable to this investigation area.
Murder/Suicide (M) - Zero out of 100
Nineteen murders/suicides, seven more unseen. A double murder by unholy magic, suicide forced by evil magic, 11 murders in one scene by vampire. More.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
--> Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior.
--> Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.
--> Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behavior and a mistrust of others.
--> Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed.
Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)
Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 17 out of 100
Impudence/Hate (I) - zero out of 100
Sexual Immorality (S) - 1 out of 100
Drugs/Alcohol (D) - zero out of 100
Offense to God (O) - zero out of 100
Murder/Suicide (M) - zero out of 100
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
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In the name of Jesus:
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
Chaplain and President
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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|For G rated Films with |
G equivalence: G
PG equivalence: PG-G
PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
R equivalence: R-G<
|For PG rated Films with |
G equivalence: G-PG
PG equivalence: PG
PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
R equivalence: R-PG
|For PG-13 rated Films with |
G equivalence: G-13
PG equivalence: PG(13)
PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
R equivalence: R-13
|For R rated Films with |
G equivalence: G-R
PG equivalence: PG-R
PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
R equivalence: R
|For NR rated Films with
G equivalence: G-NR
PG equivalence: PG-NR
PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
R equivalence: R-NR