Director’s Spotlight: Tim Burton

Regardless of your taste, you would be hard-pressed to find a director with a more distinct style than Burton

(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore)

By: Jonathan Pabico

One of my favourite directors is the legendary Tim Burton. Burton’s films are known for their bleak and morbid atmospheres as well as the dark and unsettling feeling they create in a viewer. Despite this, his movies remain crowd favourites, especially for the Halloween season.   

     Providing a perfect blend of horror and intrigue, Burton’s movies draw the audience in, conveying the underlying philosophies espoused by Burton’s characters with ease. In Corpse Bride, the connection between life and death is explored through the main character, Victor, and the bond he forms with Emily, the undead bride. With its dreadful, inspiring, and haunting backdrop, the film explores personal identity through Victor’s growth from an anxiety-ridden, bumbling character to a confident and strong-willed individual who can face his fears.

     What makes Burton skilled at his craft is the humour he blends with the bleak tones featured in his films. Another movie of his, Dark Shadows, has its own gloomy moods, but is brought to life with some light-hearted humour. The vampire Barnabas Collins’ (Johnny Depp) naiveté in adjusting to his new surroundings provides the kind of amusement and levity that only the Burton-Depp duo can deliver. There is also, of course, Burton’s robust working relationship with Johnny Depp in general, who appears in many of Burton’s films and contributes greatly to the realization of his ghastly visions.

     Many of Burton’s films are still enjoyed by audiences today and are worth watching and rewatching every Halloween night. Be sure to check out his other works, too; Some Burton classics include Edward Scissorhands, the gruesome and musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Sleepy Hollow.

If you’re looking for a good Halloween movie to watch in between intervals of handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, then watch any of Burton’s films. They are sure to rekindle your Halloween spirit.