Kathryn Schroeder of FilmFracture writes:
"By one definition, pastiche is a confused mixture or jumble. Dark Shadows can then be described as employing pastiche, and not to the benefit of the other definition, wherein it is an artistic work consisting of a medley of pieces taken from various sources. The latter definition can be seen as positive praise, the former disastrous. Dark Shadows may not be a complete disaster but it is far from worthy of praise. "