RED does not mean "stop." GREEN does not mean "go." Click on the CAPCon Alert image for explanation
CAP Movie Ministry
Reel World Reality

A ministry of the ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
A 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Christian Ministry.
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)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
October 6, 2012
October 10, 2012

The #1 Christian entertainment media analysis service on the Internet. We give you OBJECTIVE tools NO ONE ELSE CAN to help YOU make an informed decision for yourself whether a film is fit for your family. Over 1500 analyses for parents, grandparents, pastors, youth leaders and more.
Available from

CAP Analysis of it

CAP Analysis of it

CAP Analysis of it

CAP Analysis of it

Plus Hundreds More Titles

PLEASE . . . . . . .

(a PayPal account is NOT required).
The CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Christian ministry.
Donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.

Stay informed ...OBJECTIVELY...
on what Hollywood feeds your kids. SUBSCRIBE
(or unsubscribe) to our FREE email version of these reports and our COMING SOON notices.
Email this report to friends and
tell them about the CAP Ministry:

Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2012), PG-13 [HARD R-13*] ... This film is the lowest scoring PG-13 of the 479 we have analyzed.

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

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    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.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "fantasy" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for the American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Their findings include:
    --> 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.]
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • Heb. 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you [fair and responsible authority, properly appointed], and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account [report to God], that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
  • Prov. 3:31 Envy thou not the oppressor [man of violence, extortionist, etc.], and choose none of his ways.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [all forms of evil/magic to force or do harm], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Eccl. 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. [When men can continue to demonstrate sins ("evil work") such as violence, filthy communications and sexually immoral acts in and as entertainment, they will continue to do so with impunity and desire to do more.]
  • Prov. 30:20 This is the way of an adulteress [or adulterer]: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong.' [Though this verse uses "adulteress" to make its point, the heart of the matter is the arrogance of "What's the big deal!" or "It's okay sometimes" defense of sexual immorality (or any other wrong-doings). This verse makes an adulter(er/ess) of many filmmakers and performers, thinking they can demonstrate behavioral impurity while thinking they've done no wrong.]
  • Mark 7:20 - 21 He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, ...
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; ...
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 - 10 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not! Even if you were to defeat the entire Babylonian army that is attacking you and only wounded men were left in their tents, they would come out and burn this city down. [The "destroyers form within" do not have to be army warriors. They can be the ones who destroy through corruption of moral standards as well, such as filmmakers who perpetuate desensitization against wholesome standards. They aren't going anywhere, folks. Not until Jesus comes again.]
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize, to entice to sin. And remember, mom/dad, "little ones" is mikros, meaning less by birth; younger. All of your children are younger than you and less by birth than you. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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.)

    Dark Shadows (2012) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 17 out of 100
  • mob burying a man alive
  • scenes of a vampire with blood on his face, frequent
  • threat to kill if won't love
  • robbery
  • accessory to murder
  • additional burying a man alive
  • gunfire with bullets hitting flesh
  • choking
  • more gunfire with bullets hitting flesh
  • long sequence of action violence
  • removing one's own heart
  • attempted suicide for love

    Impudence/Hate (I) - zero out of 100
  • 18 uses of profanity plus once by a teen
  • falsification of identity
  • adolescent threat to force her way
  • adolescent disrespect/arrogance, repeatedly
  • extortion
  • rudeness
  • lies
  • abandonment of a child

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 1 out of 100
  • heavy kissing
  • open mouth kissing
  • 15 year old girl trying to flaunt her sex appeal, repeatedly
  • brother telling about her sister's masturbation
  • 4 women in very short skirts
  • positioning of oral sex
  • excessive cleavage, repeatedly
  • anatomical reference, repeatedly
  • inappropriate touch
  • female groping a male's privates
  • stripping to entice
  • vulgar antics in foreplay
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • rude stare
  • heavy making out in adultery
  • woman removing her underwear to place it on a man's face
  • song of sexual quest

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - zero out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • bar
  • abuse of prescription drugs (consuming with alcohol)
  • group smoking of dope
  • young girl smoking dope
  • drug intoxication, including of young girl
  • teen expressing lust for booze
  • additional smoking of dope

    Offense to God (O) - zero out of 100
  • 11 abuses of God's name
  • searching for evil power
  • evil spell to cause death and to cause performance against the subject's will, including a child, repeatedly
  • witch, frequent
  • spell to transform human into a vampire
  • specter, repeatedly, of Josette and David's mother, once in replay of suicide
  • unholy resurrection of the dead
  • vampire bite, repeatedly
  • submission to Satan
  • vampire mannerisms/tactics, throughout
  • snake tongue from a woman
  • inhuman physical feats during making out/foreplay
  • inhuman physical strength, repeatedly
  • seeking guidance from an unholy entity
  • unholy magic to do harm or force performance, repeatedly
  • arson by evil magic
  • flesh deformation into porcelain-like skin covering emptiness, repeatedly
  • battle between 2 unholy entities
  • moving still paintings
  • evil magic causing destruction of manor and contents
  • shape-shifting to a werewolf
  • house fixtures coming to life and attacking
  • long sequence of battle and argument between two unholy entities

    Murder/Suicide (M) - zero out of 100
  • double murder by unholy magic
  • suicide forced by unholy magic
  • vampire murder of 11 men
  • multiple vampire murders, heard but not seen
  • murder by vampire bite, repeatedly
  • additional suicide

    Interested parties, send us your proposal. Your link will appear on each new analysis report prepared during the desired period and, once placed on a page, will not be removed.

    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.

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We are 100% dependent on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please make your donations through

    Just enter "Donation" in the "Description" block and the amount in the "Unit Price" block. You DO NOT need to have a PayPal account. Note that PayPal cannot process your donations unless your browser is set to accept cookies.

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes.

    You are welcome to go to the
    CAP Reports page
    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Site Map (Table of Contents)
    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
    Tom Carder
    Chaplain and President
    ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
    100% dependent on your tax-deductible financial support

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry

    free site statistics
    Since January 2001

    Christian Long Distance
    The Fundamental Top 500

    We exist only by your tax-deductible donations. PLEASE

    Features PayPal! You do NOT need an account to donate.
    JCSM's Top 1000 Christian Sites - Free Traffic Sharing Service!
    GodWeb Top 1000 Christian Sites

    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    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
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry
    A Nonprofit Christian Ministry


    Can you see Him? Let us know if you cannot.