Till Death Do You Part: Love in Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. Review by Lisa Schussler

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Tim Burton has created yet another surreal world and populated it with his bizarrely loveable characters. Add to that Danny Elfman's unique, twisted and cartoonish, soundtrack, and Corpse Bride becomes another trademark Burton masterpiece. The cast includes several acting giants: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Christopher Lee, to name a few.

Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp) and Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson) are matched in an arranged marriage. The Van Dorts are a nouveau riche family, while the Everglots come from a once-wealthy line who have lost their fortune. In the first few scenes we also meet the conniving Lord Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant). Although Victor and Victoria fall in love instantly, their union gets interrupted. Unable to learn his vows, Victor heads into the woods by himself. During this time, Victor inadvertently marries Emily, the Corpse Bride (Helena Bonham Carter). His new wife transports him to the Land of the Dead. Tim Burton is one of the few artists who can actually make being dead look more fun that being alive. Compared to the depressing, dreary landscape of the Land of the Living, with its stuffy characters, the Land of the Dead is a lively place. It features jazz-playing skeletons, a head waiter, even a duet between a black widow and a maggot—who, in typical Burton fashion, is among the more amusing characters. Here, Victor learns the truth about the Corpse Bride. Meanwhile, "upstairs", Barkis plots to marry Victoria.

I've always been a fan of Burton's films and Corpse Bride didn't let me down. From the pious, bent, and robed figure of Pastor Galswells (Christopher Lee) to the corpulent, overbearing Nell Van Dort (Tracey Ullman), the characters embody their personalities perfectly. This film caters to those who enjoy the strange and dark, as well as to families looking for a film that makes the adults laugh as much as the children.

Lisa Schussler is a medical scientist, long-time reader, and horror fan. She has entered several fiction writing contests and is currently moderator of the Horror Forum on the Bestsellers & Literature online community.