director Tim Burton
Back in 1999, I still had high hopes for director Tim Burton. His awesome art designs hadn’t yet become redundant and he had made a number of really interesting films. So Burton taking on the Gothic horror film in the style of a classic Hammer horror film, that seemed cool. And Johnny Depp hadn’t yet become the megastar that he would a couple years later. And Christina Ricci, I liked (and still like) Christina Ricci.
But this might be the turning point for Burton. More concretely, it would be in his follow-up to this, 2001’s Planet of the Apes, but I think that this was the first of his films that I actively didn’t like.
Watching it again years later, and now, with my 11 year old daughter, I think I appreciated it a bit more. It still lacks something really compelling, but Depp keeps it interesting, and some of the things that nagged at me (the sweetly enchanted visions of good witches in flashbacks) nag perhaps a little less pervasively. It is far more a Tim Burton flick than any true Hammer throwback.
Clara enjoyed it pretty well. Though as a horror film, it’s also not scary.