Frankenstein - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Frankenstein Reviews

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November 21, 2017
I give this a 92/A-.
October 24, 2017
An all time horror classic! A great place to start when wanting to explore the foundations of the genre. The story is timeless and rather sad and Boris Karloff is iconic as Frankenstein. A film everyone should watch at least once!
October 19, 2017
This Is My Favorite Film Adaptation Of The Mary Shelley Novel And I Like Boris Karloff's Amazing Performance As Frankenstein's Monster.
October 19, 2017
Frankenstein has been boiled down to a few iconic moments for so long, that you forget how much there actually is to this classic horror film. Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein expertly and maniacally carries the film at the beginning. And then, he hands it off to Boris Karloff, whose brilliant portrayal of the confused and menacing Monster is what truly made this movie so memorable.
½ October 17, 2017
Through gorgeous cinematography, iconic makeup, and the legendary Boris Karloff, Frankenstein is an undeniable classic that stands the test of time.
October 11, 2017
Boris Karloff will always be the best movie monster of all time, and has set the stage for many inspirations to come in the decades! A cinematic masterpiece from beginning to end!
½ October 2, 2017
This movie is a classic that deserves to be watched every now and again. It has a quick pace which sometimes makes the characters seem a bit underdeveloped. I think the sequel to this is better, but this is still a gem.
September 16, 2017
Frankenstein is stylized, dark, and a highly influential piece of cinema. It does stray much from Shelley's original vision, but it also creates an unforgettable story full of haunting images.
September 12, 2017
Terrific classic monster movie! Eerily creepy in atmosphere. Interesting to see a genius on the brink of madness while inventing something that's never been done before. The movie sets were something to be admired given that some scenes we're filmed inside a studio.

Fantastic horror monster movie and I look forward to watching the other ones.
September 10, 2017
While Frankenstein, the monster is Iconic the beauty of this movie lies within the madness of Dr. Frankenstein and the two stand on equal footing. Truly a movie worthy of its status and while Frankenstein isn't my favorite monster, its portrayal of a misunderstood humanity is what sets the bar so high for all of horror cinema.
½ September 4, 2017
While Shelley's novel is the source of the original idea, the film thoroughly deviates from it and Whale grasps that idea in a completely different manner, constructing a new tale on another artistic format, a tale which shouldn't be called an adaptation. Anyway, 'Frankenstein' (being therefore legitimately regarded separately to the novel) is a film which is compelling for its Expressionist like design - offering a gothic, craggy and mesmerizing feel that's unlikely to be found with contemporary techniques -, its tight structure allowing no hollow sequences, and the much praised and much admirable figure of the monster in Boris Karloff's take on the role.
August 17, 2017
Released in the same year as Dracula this is another iconic film in the horror genre and manages to be slightly better than the likes of Dracula thanks to better production and being less tame. The cast is also good with Boris Karloff being the best as the monster, I like the themes presented, it holds no punches when it comes to the violence on display (unlike Dracula which usually cut away when anyone was about to die), the score is decent and it has several iconic and memorable scenes.
July 9, 2017
The only reason this gets four rather than five stars is because I get unreasonably irritated that they switched Victor and Henry's names for no apparent reason. That's literally it. I can forgive that they fucked up pretty much everything about the book because I have the hots for Colin Clive and I'm willing to overlook a lot when something is entertaining to me, but the name thing really twists my knickers for whatever reason. Either way, love it.
July 6, 2017
Surely a film that does not age!
June 8, 2017
Colin Clive's mad performance and the legendary Boris Karloff dominate this classic. It's a shame that Clive died so young. His nuanced performance, alongside the moody but innocent Karloff, make this a genre standout that is imitated even today.
½ May 21, 2017
A must-see classic and near perfection
½ March 14, 2017
A monster-movie where we never really dread the monster, but rather the people trying to kill it.

Movies tell us everything about place and time - they will be important artifacts for archaeologists of the future trying to understand our culture and each era that defines us. What this film says about an attitude of an era amazes me. That it's regarded as a monster horror film might be reflected differently if it were released in the 60s. The sensitivities in which it views it's subject are to me 30 years ahead of its time. Whereas audiences would scream at the Monster in 1930, it's the villagers and mad Dr. Frankenstein they'd scoff at in horror by 1960.

The Monster of Frankenstein is a victim, born into shackles - it's heartbreaking.
It's more of a heartbreaking film about miscommunication, possibilities of understanding breaking down, insensitivity towards victimization... You might say our attitude about post-slavery USA, the meanness towards which we treat the perceived 'loose animal.'

It acts as a featurette rather than feature film, an exercise in torture for the audience - how much cruelty can we take? In that sense it's a more effective horror film than just about any I've seen, but I'd call it a reverse-monster movie.

Frankenstein has a penchant for incarcerating - he does it to Monster, his wife, and himself.

Frankenstein must be wearing flame retardant pants, because he should've caught on fire

Why did they change Victor to Henry and then name someone else Victor who looks like future Vincent Price?

I'm in danger of cinema guru villagers coming to burn my own house down if I say that I find the influence of German expressionism slightly more effective than the originators with this film. When I think of what I love in movies, what I want to see, or the effect I want it to have, it's the set pieces and lighting in Frankenstein. They are done with expressionist quality, yet painted over by the slightest tinge of realism. Frankenstein's gothic hilltop laboratory under rain and lightening is such an iconic dream image - I have The View on as I write this and they're using it as a background image for their Halloween special! That says it all. My favorite is the opening graveyard; nothing equals the surrealist quality of that painted sky, silhouetted cross, etc.

I'm not sure how film class has managed to skip lauding over the epic shot of the father carrying his dead daughter through the village - a majority of the scene is composed in a complex single tracking shot, requiring tremendous mise en scene articulation, staging a variety of background actors who hit their marks so well it feels absolutely real. The quickness in which the villagers want to avenge the murder is not so real, and seems to force the film to get to that point quicker without building into a real uprising - but then it's a statement of how quick and infectious stupidity spreads.

The sweetness of Monster tossing flowers with the girl is again heartbreaking and misunderstood.

Boris Karloff's incredible body language and facial expressions are the most sensitive - we can only believe the circumstances that are sold on us because of his ability to empathetically embody this tortured soul who never asked to be animated.

The choice of medium close-ups when Dr. Waldman quells Victor's naivety. Here again is an example of how delicate mise-en-scene is beyond mere framing choices, though the framing is the key, which makes it so effective. Here they are casually conversing about Dr. Frankenstein's odd behavior of late in a wide-shot, when Victor dare suggests Frankenstein's work on a few dead animals is paltry in a medium. The framing is bare of anything besides him and his stupid face perched atop his clumsy body, isolated by anything else in the shot. Versus Waldman, an established intellect, framed by vials and workload that highlight his authority, so that when he tells Victor he doesn't understand and that these experiments of Frankenstein are bizarre, dark, we all get a real sense that he means it. A lesser filmmaker would just say, close-up to embolden the idea, but James Whales is clever in juxtaposing these images.

Zoetrope chase behind spinning wheel, Frankenstein vs Monster.
February 28, 2017
Excellent, as well as iconic.
½ January 8, 2017
One the greatest films ever made
January 5, 2017
Still a FANTASTIC Film! While maybe not the scariest film I've seen (back then it was!), but the film is well-acted, has a good story showing the monster is not really bad but just misunderstood, good pacing and is just a classic!
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