Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Bernard Rose's FRANKENSTEIN is now on home video

Hitting home video today is Bernard Rose’s update of Frankenstein and it’s something any horror film fan should se. Focusing on the monster’s POV the film follows him as he is created, deals with his creators and makes his way into the world. More science fiction and drama then traditional horror the film is a glorious reinvention of the story. I saw the film last year at Lincoln Center’s Scary Movies and while I saw a good number of films that were playing there Rose’s film is the one that not only I remember but also one I’m still talking about.

A definite must see for anyone who loves well done rethought classic tales.

Bernard Rose's FRANKENSTEIN updates the tale to modern Los Angeles where a married couple (Carrie Ann Moss and Danny Huston) grow a human being in an incubator. We watch as the child like adult is poked, prodded and tested before his metabolism begins to cause problems. When his creators decide to kill him and start over he escapes...

One of the gorier versions of the classic tale this is strangely also one of the most faithful to the spirit of the original novel. If you've ever read the original story (its weirdly shocking how many horror fans haven't) you know that the Hollywood version isn't really the whole story and that there is a hell of a lot more to the monster than the movies would have you believe. This film tries to rectify that by focusing on the creature and using passages from the book to build character.

Less horror film than grand tragedy, we see and experience only what the monster does. We feel all that "monster" experiences from the joys to the pain. We understand his experience must be like and our hearts break. We truly understand why people hate him and why he reacts as he does.

While one of the more intellectually stimulating and viscerally affecting versions of the story the film is not without it's flaws. The creators are largely ciphers and come off as one note to the point when Moss meets up with her creature mid-film and rejects him it comes off as odd, especially since she seems to be against killing him. The film also suffers from some uneven special effects to the point that the conclusion of the film is hobbled by some weak CGI fire.

Definitely worth a shot, especially for anyone who wants to see a version of the story that is highly intelligent, decidedly different and willing to take risks.

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