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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Don Reviews "Lisa Frankenstein"



Love stories are probably the most universal tales told by Hollywood with horror right up there with it.  However, how often are there films that have both of them?  From what I know, Bride of Frankenstein was the first to do it, but when you look at the list, they tend to come alive more than being dead on arrival. That being said…

 

Lisa Frankenstein is the first feature-length film directed by Zelda Williams and stars Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Jenna Davis, Carla Gugino, and Joe Chrest.  It’s 1989, and Lisa (Newton) is a high school teen dealing not only dealing with the  issues that come with that but also living in a time after her mother has died. She now has a new stepmom (Gugino) and stepsister (Soberano) as well as going to a new school in her senior year.  After a freak storm, a decomposing human (Sprouse) whose grave Lisa spends time at comes back to life, and their relationship takes on some crazy twists and turns.

 

This film has some good performances with Sprouse and Newton having good chemistry.  I like how Sprouse is able to play a character that not only has to communicate without talking but also uses his body language to show the changes he goes through as the story progresses.  Newton does shine as a character who feels like she is acting under a normal moral compass but turns into something so march darker, which I did not see coming.  The script is very enjoyable, and at about one hundred minutes it works nicely from both a timing and pacing standpoint.  There is a great mix of love, loss, comedy, and gore that is done very well and in a way that isn’t too over the top and parodies that last one in a way that really works into the comedy of it all.

 

Given that this takes place thirty-five years ago, the set design is really solid and even comes across with a new wave vibe that reminded me of films like Beetlejuice, which I fully mean as  a compliment.  Taking this kind of story and putting the Frankenstein twist to it works really well and kept me interested all the way through.  I really did not know what to expect from this film, and in the end I was pleasantly surprised so I will give Lisa Frankenstein to be seen as a matinee showing in the theaters.

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