|“||Angelique loves us. She always has and she always will.||„|
|― Carlotta Drake|
Night of Dark Shadows was a 1971 film by director Dan Curtis and a sequel to the 1970 film, House of Dark Shadows. Both movies are based on the popular 1966 television soap opera series Dark Shadows. Night of Dark Shadows is not a sequel in the strictest sense as it does not further any plot concepts from the original film. The only element that the two movies have in common is the setting. Night of Dark Shadows makes a passing reference to Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, a character originally played by actress Joan Bennett who was featured in House of Dark Shadows. Most of the cast from the film played recurring roles on the television series as well. The plot centers around newlyweds Quentin and Tracy Collins who move into their ancestral family estate, only to find it haunted by the spirit of a 19th-century witch who was executed on the grounds of the property in 1810.
Upon arriving, they meet Collinwood's housekeeper Carlotta Drake. Carlotta states that she has worked here all of her life and even lived at Collinwood when her parents were caretakers. Carlotta begins showing the newlyweds around the house.
Pretty soon, Quentin comes upon a 19th-century portrait of a blonde-haired woman with captivating green eyes. Carlotta explains that the portrait is of Angelique Collins who used to live there over a century ago. A short while later, Quentin stares out of an upstairs window and swears that he can see someone hanging from one of the branches of an old oak tree outside. He blinks several times and the vision is gone. He then decides to go to bed. Throughout the course of the evening, Quentin dreams of Angelique being sentenced to die for witchcraft. His mind replays the events of her death and the vision matches that of the woman he believed to have seen hanging from the tree earlier on.
After the Collins settle down for the evening, the mansion's stable hand, Gerard Stiles, enters the kitchen. Gerard is mentally slow and harbors a bizarre relationship with Carlotta Drake. Carlotta ruminates about Collinwood's new owners and comments about how different everything will be.
The following day, Quentin decides to go riding and he meets Gerard for the first time. While saddling up a horse, he has another vision. This time he sees himself as Charles Collins dressed in 19th century attire attending the funeral of Angelique. He also sees himself blaming the local priest, Reverend Strack for her death and murdering him by trampling the good Reverend with his horse.
After riding his horse for some time, Quentin goes to visit his good friends Alex and Claire Jenkins. Alex and Claire are a husband and wife team of mystery writers and they seem to have a flair for modern art. Quentin tells Alex of the dream he had and Alex begins to grow a bit concerned.
The next day, Quentin decides that he wants to set up his own art studio at Collinwood. Carlotta recommends the third floor tower room for privacy and atmosphere. Quentin has no reason to suspect Carlotta of duplicity, so he takes his painting supplies up into the tower. Conveniently enough, Carlotta places the portrait of Angelique up there as well.
Later on outside, Quentin suffers another vision. In this one, he sees himself as Charles Collins (again) who is romantically involved with Angelique. To make matters worse, not only is Angelique a witch, but she is the wife of his younger brother Gabriel as well. Quentin dreams of Angelique's execution again, but this time he (Charles) turns his head away to gaze up at the third floor window of Collinwood. He sees a young girl staring down gasping in horror as Angelique is pushed from the tree branch.
Quentin goes upstairs to question Carlotta about what he had seen. Carlotta explains that it was she whom he had seen at the window and that perhaps his mind was playing a trick on him and made him think that he was watching a little girl. Quentin isn't completely satisfied with her answer, but he lets the matter drop.
That evening, Quentin and Tracy invite the Jenkins over for dinner. The group has a real good time despite the discomfort of Carlotta's presence.
Later, Quentin and Tracy make love and the two fall asleep. Quentin dreams of Charles Collins once again. Charles' jealous brother Gabriel discovers the two in each other's arms and they come to blows. While Quentin is dreaming, Gerard hears a noise coming from the master bedroom. Upon investigating, Quentin attacks him. Quentin is still asleep, but in his dream-state, he believes it is actually Gabriel that he is fighting. The two wrestle each other out into the hallway, awakening Tracy and Carlotta. In the throes of his mania, Quentin begins to strangle Tracy. He finally snaps awake once he realizes what he's doing.
The next day, Alex drives over to check on Quentin. He stops near the greenhouse when he believes he sees someone lurking about. Getting out of the car, he calls out, but no one answers. He goes into the greenhouse and suddenly, all of the glass falls down on top of him. Alex manages to dive out of the greenhouse before any of the shattered glass has a chance to strike him.
Quentin meanwhile, is getting angry concerning the strange visions and dream-memories that he's been having. He questions Carlotta and forces her to reveal what she knows. Carlotta explains that the little girl that Quentin thought he saw at the window was actually Sarah Castle. Sarah was the daughter of the housekeeper in charge of Collinwood in 1810. Carlotta is the reincarnation of Sarah Castle.
The full story of the events that transpired in 1810 is thus: Angelique was the wife of Gabriel, but as a witch, she seduced his brother Charles. Angelique had also murdered a local reverend named Harridge. Harridge's close friend, Reverend Strack, learned of this and came to Collinwood to accuse Angelique of witchcraft. Angelique was taken downstairs for trial. Prior to sentencing however, she stopped Sarah Castle. Sarah and Angelique were very close to one another and Angelique gave her a special necklace. She said that so long as she wore it, she would never forget her. Angelique was then taken out to a great tree on the Collins' estate and hung. Charles blamed Strack for his true love's death and thus he had him trampled by his horse. Quentin is actually the re-incarnation of his own ancestor, Charles. The spirit of Angelique is working through Carlotta in an effort to keep Quentin's body near so that Charles' spirit can dominate him completely. However, the conspirators need to do away with those who would threaten this union; namely Tracy, Alex and Clair.
Quentin tries to dismiss all of this, but to no avail. He goes back up to the tower to work on his painting. Tracy tries to come up and visit him, but Quentin grows enraged and tells her to "get out". Tracy is beginning to suspect that there is something seriously wrong with him.
Later on, Quentin decides to go into town for a few hours. Tracy decides this is a good opportunity to sneak into the tower and see what he's been working on. She finds Quentin's coat and absconds with the tower room key. Breaking into the room, she finds a painting of Quentin (Charles) carrying Tracy's dead body and placing it at the feet of Angelique. Tracy doesn’t know what to make of all this since she doesn't know the complete back-story concerning Angelique. Quentin returns early because he forgot his wallet in his jacket. Tracy rushes back down to try and replace the key before Quentin discovers that it is missing.
Meanwhile, Alex and Claire go to New York to attend the Burton Art Gallery.
That night, the spirit of Charles Collins once again possesses Quentin and he tries to rape Tracy. Tracy manages to get away, but she is completely horrified by Quentin's rash behavior.
Alex and Claire return from New York with a 19th-century portrait of Charles Collins. They notice that barring a small scar on the cheek, Charles is the spitting image of Quentin. Alex begins to suspect that something otherworldly is taking place at Collinwood. The ghost of Angelique however is getting tired of the Jenkins' shenanigans and tries to kill Alex. Her spirit covers him and tries to choke him while he's sleeping, but Claire saves the day and manages to drive the ghost away for a while.
The following day, Tracy goes wandering around the original family mansion known as the Old House. She loiters about near the old swimming pool when Quentin comes lumbering along. He is completely taken over by Charles now and even suffers from a lame leg, similar to what Charles had to endure. Quentin attacks Tracy and tries to drown her in the swimming pool. Satisfied that he has killed her, he stalks off back to Collinwood.
Just as he's leaving, Alex and Claire show up to warn the Collins' about what they have found out. Alex finds Tracy floating in the pool and manages to save her before she drowns completely. He knows that Quentin is responsible and is able to piece together the reality of the situation on his own. Claire takes Tracy back to their cottage while Alex heads off towards the main house.
Carlotta is determined to follow Angelique's will and she sends Gerard out to kill Alex and Claire. Gerard hops in his pick-up and begins following Alex's car. He runs him off the road into a tree nearly killing him. He then drives off to the Jenkins' cottage. He attempts to break in through the front door, but Claire shoots him in the face at point blank range. The shot is only a glancing blow however, causing only a severe flesh wound. Gerard breaks in and kidnaps Tracy. He takes her in his truck and heads off into the country.
Meanwhile, Quentin has managed to temporarily take control of himself. He finds Alex and learns about Gerard. He finds the pickup near a bridge on the countryside. Gerard gets out and runs. Quentin chases him onto the bridge and the two square off for their final confrontation. Quentin does pretty well against Gerard, but its actually Tracy that executes the final blow. She comes up behind Gerard and bludgeons him with a lead pipe. Gerard falls off the bridge onto the railroad tracks below (ironically enough, during the scuffle, Quentin suffers a gash across his cheek, which bears a striking resemblance to the scar borne by Charles Collins).
Quentin and Tracy go back to Collinwood. They decide to end Angelique's madness for good. They believe the best way to do this is to go down into the basement. Angelique's spirit appears and struggles with Tracy, but Tracy manages to shrug the violent spirit off of her.
Quentin meanwhile, chases Carlotta to the roof of Collinwood. She's perched on the parapet when she looks down to the ground and finds Angelique beckoning her. Carlotta answers the summons and leaps to her death.
Quentin and Tracy believe that with both Carlotta and Gerard dead, everything will be peaceful again. Quentin decides that he is going to sell Collinwood and leave town. They meet up with the Jenkins' and everyone decides to drive up to the Cape for a small vacation. Alex and Claire pull off and Quentin says he'll follow shortly. He just wants to take one last look at the house.
Quentin goes inside, leaving Tracy to wait for him in the car. After a few minutes, she gets tired of waiting and goes inside to find Quentin. She finds him sitting in an easy chair brooding. She calls out to him and he slowly rises. He has an evil grin on his face and begins limping over to her. He tears the bandages from his face revealing the scar. Tracy now knows that the spirit of Charles Collins has taken him over completely. Angelique appears in full visage for the first time and the two converge upon Tracy. The last thing we hear are Tracy's terrified screams.
- In an epilogue we learn that the Jenkins car went off the road, killing both Alex and Claire. Witnesses report seeing a ghostly white smoke filling the vehicle as it went off the highway.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Night of Dark Shadows is a self-contained story and does not share continuity with either the original Dark Shadows television program of the full-length feature film, House of Dark Shadows. However, there is one intriguing detail in the movie, almost a throwaway line of dialogue, that would seem to indicate continuity with either the TV series or the first movie—at one point while showing Quentin and Tracy the Collinwood mansion, Carlotta remarks that "Mrs. Stoddard used to enjoy having tea in this room before her death"—this is obviously a reference to Joan Bennett's character. Most likely it refers to continuity with House of Dark Shadows; Elizabeth was the only adult member of the family left alive, and it would make sense that the house would pass on to Quentin after her death. Of course, that raises the question of what happened to David. Perhaps he followed through on his suicidal pranks, being devastated over the loss of most of his family. That could explain why Elizabeth dies within a year of the events of House of Dark Shadows, presumably of a heart attack.
- On September 1, 1998, Warner Brothers released Night of Dark Shadows on close-captioned VHS format. It has yet to be released on DVD.
- Night of Dark Shadows has also been released through another production company known as Title House, Inc.
- The director's cut edition of Night of Dark Shadows runs 129 minutes.
- Warner Brothers forced Dan Curtis to excise 35 minutes worth of footage considered to be too violent or sexually suggestive from the original film in order to satisfy a GP rating.
- At the time of its release, Night of Dark Shadows was given a GP rating by the Motion Picture Association of America. It has since been re-rated and given a PG rating.
Just another night of... terror!
When the sun goes down, the terror begins!
Hung as a witch 200 years ago, Angelique comes back to Collinwood
- Night of Dark Shadows at CollinWiki
- Night of Dark Shadows at Collinwood.net
- Night of Dark Shadows at All-Movie Guide (AMG)
- Night of Dark Shadows at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
- Night of Dark Shadows at Headhunter's Horror House Review