The story of Frankenstein is probably the most famous and popular of all the monsters due to its tragic tale of obsession, loss and love. This story has been told in so many different ways over the years it is hard to bring anything new to the property at this point, but that doesn’t mean people don’t still try. The latest aptly titled Frankenstein looks to bring a modern twist to the tale with a decent cast including Carrie-Anne Moss, Tony Todd, Danny Huston, and Xavier Samuel, but does it do the classic story justice or should it never be brought back from the dead?
Frankenstein follows the iconic tale told from the perspective of the monster in modern day Los Angeles. After he is artificially created, then left for dead by a husband-and-wife team of eccentric scientists, Adam is confronted with nothing but aggression and violence from the world around him. This perfect creation-turned disfigured monster must come to grips with the horrific nature of humanity. The idea here actually works and while there are some great moments the film doesn’t offer up anything all that new to the story. In actuality they attempted to tell the exact same story with some clever twists on the tale, but it just felt too rehashed instead of infusing it with something new. The beginning of the film is a bit slow and disturbing as he is treated literally like a baby coming into the world. This lets you know that you are in for a strange version of this classic tale, but once he is on his own it loses the strangeness and feels more generic. There are some pretty graphic violent outbursts that bring the film back on track a few times, but then it derails again mostly due to a narration that was unnecessary. It clearly hoped to give the viewer and internal device to understand the monsters inner struggles, but by giving us this insight it loses the intriguing nature of the character. Had they allowed the same story to play out without it you would have gotten the same story out of it, but found it through the actions and struggles of the character and his circumstances instead of being force fed all the info.
Hardcore fans of the world of Frankenstein may find this an interesting direction to the story and if you can ignore the clichéd narrative and story decisions it does end up work decent enough. If you are looking for something that captures the essence of the famed creature then you will feel sorely lost as this film doesn’t offer up much more than another attempt at telling the same story we have seen a hundred times over.