As portrayed by actress Michelle Pfeiffer in Tim Burton's 2012 film adaptation of Dark Shadows, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard is the shotgun-wielding, assertive matriarch of the Collins family in 1972, at the time of Barnabas Collins' return to Collinswood after nearly two centures of imprisonment in his coffin. She is also the first member of the Collins family to greet Victoria Winters upon her arrival at Collinwood to apply for work as governess to Elizabeth's troubled young nephew, David Collins.

Elizabeth's interview of Vicky includes questions about then-President Nixon, the Vietnam War, and sexual equality, showing Elizabeth to be interested in contemporary sociopolitical issues of the time (or perhaps, given Vicky's artfully oblique answers - which Elizabeth accepts as indicative of someone she'll "get along just fine" with - perhaps showing Elizabeth is mainly interested in avoiding adding someone to the household who is overly opinionated on the subjects she's raised).

When Barnabas arrives, Elizabeth is initially very wary of the stranger, and even a bit hostile, firmly admonishing her 15-year-old daughter Carolyn and the younger David to "get away from that man!" She picks up and conceals a pointed metal letter opener to use against Barnabas as a weapon until he establishes his honest intentions to her satisfaction, which he accomplishes by showing her a concealed treasure trove under Collinwood and assuring her he means to use it to restore the Collins family's fortunes.

Elizabeth imposes "one condition" for accepting Barnabas permanently into her home, which is that the two of them maintain the secret of Barnabas' vampirism and the hidden wealth he has disclosed to her. With his acquiescence, she declares, "Welcome home, Barnabas Collins!" Thus, unlike in past versions of Dark Shadows, in Tim Burton's version Elizabeth is fully aware of her "cousin's" vampiric curse and nevertheless welcomes him, serving in some ways as the ally that had been Dr. Julia Hoffman's role in the original TV episodes. Pfeiffer's Elizabeth is ultimately far more concerned than Depp's Barnabas is with trying to keep his curse a secret.

Hypnotized by the family's resident psychiatrist, Dr. Julia Hoffman, Barnabas confesses both his vampirism and Elizabeth's knowledge of it. Confronted by a horrified and half-inebriated Julia, Elizabeth is able to persuade the doctor not to go to the authorities. She asks her to show loyalty to the Collins family, but more importantly manages to appeal to her scientific curiosity, suggesting that as a scientist Julia should find Barnabas "fascinating." This (along with her own mistakes in judgment) proves a fateful decision for Julia.

When the family fishing business is restored through Barnabas' efforts, Elizabeth is depicted proudly posing with other family members for photographers at the cannery's reopening. When she learns from Barnabas that the rival fishing business in Collinsport, Angel Bay, has in fact prospered to the Collins' detriment through the same witchcraft that cursed Barnabas with vampirism, she urges him, "Fight on, Barnabas, fight on!"

In the climactic battle between the witch Angelique Bouchard and the Collins clan, the family business is burned and the conflict moves to Collinwood, with Angelique at the head of an angry mob of townspeople. Elizabeth comes to Barnabas' aid against his longtime nemesis with a shotgun and repeatedly blasts "Angie," but to minimal effect. In retaliation, Angelique uses her magical abilities to bring Collinwood itself into the attack against Elizabeth and the others. Portraits leak blood, banisters become serpents, and carved images spring to life against the Collinses.

In the course of this special-effects-laden domestic battle, which ends with Collinwood aflame but Angelique ultimately defeated, Elizabeth is horrified to learn that her daughter Carolyn has also been cursed by Angelique, as a werewolf, and that her deceased sister-in-law (David's mother), Laura Collins, also had been killed as a result of Angelique's curse on the family.

As Collinwood burns behind the family in Elizabeth's final scene in the film, she is asked what the family will do now. She proclaims, "We'll do what we have always done ... We will endure."

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