Saturday, October 31, 2009

Movie review: Frankenstein (1931)

The original Karloff/Clive/Clarke classic. Dr. Henry Frankenstein, obsessed with creating life where there was none, cobbles together a man from pieces of dead bodies and uses lightning and "rays beyond ultraviolet" to animate it.

But alas, the brain implanted in the creature was abnormal. The creature is simple, really just a big child who doesn't understand right from wrong, only fear and anger. Of course, it inspires fear and anger in most of the adults it encounters.

The acting is typical of 30s movies, with the dialogue a bit stilted and the grander gestures of the post-silent era. Even so, it's dark and moody. The monster is more verbal and vocal than I'd recalled, and more sympathetic.

It's doubtful most of us would find it frightening today, but it's a must-see for cinephiles as one of the earliest in the horror genre.

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