January 06, 2008

Sweeney Todd: Comical Horror Done Proper

I just got back from watching Sweeney Todd. A few things you should know. I'm a fan of musicals, Johnny Depp, and the director, Tim Burton. I was not disappointed. The movie, right from the get-go, had the air of a Burton horror. The direction and the use of color (and more so the lack thereof), the camera work and the scenery were all fantastic. There was not a chink in the armor of the film, from the costumes to the washed out and ghostlike face of Depp to the wonderfully ghoulish meat pie shop with bugs all about.

It looks like they chose wisely for most of the cast, as well, with Alan Rickman (who will forever be known as Professor Snape) as the evil judge for us all to hate, we find ourselves identifying with a psychopathic killer and his sick, twisted beau (Helena Bonham Carter). Depp plays a wonderful sociopathic barber, and turns out a fairly good duet or two. Also memorable is Timothy Spall as Beadle Bamford. Unfortunately, Sacha Cohen did not seem to find his own in this movie, though he was given plenty of screen time to attempt it. Perhaps he was trying to ham it up, but the sense of humor of the Borat star did not exactly mesh with the undertone humour necessary for this film.

The comical mix of horror and insanity of this film makes it watchable through the blood and gore mixed in. Perhaps if Freddy Kruger used more subtle humour and sang a ditty every now and again, he'd be more welcome in my DVD collection. In any case, Sweeney Todd will certainly be taking up room on my shelf when it is released.

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