The Best Universal Monster Movie, 1931s Frankenstein is a masterpiece of creation-analysis whose amalgamated corpses and career [physicality-driven] performance by Boris Karloff electrified audiences and its genre as much as its nuts-and-bolts mad science antagonist. 9.5/10.
Full Review Coming Soon
Plot Synopsis: This iconic horror film follows the obsessed scientist Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) as he attempts to create life by assembling a creature from body parts of the deceased. Aided by his loyal misshapen assistant, Fritz (Dwight Frye), Frankenstein succeeds in animating his monster (Boris Karloff), but, confused and traumatized, it escapes into the countryside and begins to wreak havoc. Frankenstein searches for the elusive being, and eventually must confront his tormented creation.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Pros: Nostalgic, classic picture palace opening you just don’t see anymore in movies, dark mysterious aura and macabre feeling created by the chilling cinematography and lighting/contrast, a star-studded cast including Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, and Mae Clarke, remarkable length being able to tell such a thorough story in only 1hr10min, complex and winding story of the wonders of creation: life and death and where we stand (or should not venture into) in the hierarchy, chilling and legendary performance by Colin Clive as the power-hungry and insane Dr. Frankenstein, more serious in its research and less nonsensical and silly in its explanation of the horror than many of the other horror pictures of the time, “IT’S ALIVVVE!” scene of the most iconic and instantly recognizable scenes in movie history, amazing make-up and costume/set design making Boris Karloff the definitive Frankenstein that with his unbelievable acting and performance in the role make for perhaps the most iconic movie monster ever, truly frightening kills even when comparing it to today’s movies made almost 100 years later, no cheap tricks or even music or special effects – just manipulation of classical film techniques to create a terrifying picture, Frankenstein extremely complex and intricate psyche having the darkness from his criminal mind but also a lighter side yearning for love like in the flower scene with the girl he mistakenly drowns, ending with the iconic mob with torfches hunting Frankenstein down to the windmill thrilling and creates a lifelike aura of chaos and madness that mimics the plot point, still electrifying ending and feeling watching this movie nearly 100 years later – cannot stress enough how ridiculous that is considering many movies are forgotten or lose their appeal several YEARS or MONTHS after release, not CENTURIES, skillfully executed camerawork that is textbook-worthy in its long takes and setwork, everlasting legacy that is near unparalleled for its effects and influence on the horror genre and monster movies that still rock our world today: Hitchcock’s Psycho pretty much invented slasher movies and what we think of Horror movies today, but this was so fresh and revolutionary at the time that it arguably was one of the first in the entire genre
Cons: Wish they would have ended with the Windmill scene instead of taking it back to a light-hearted dialogue one, Frankenstein could’ve had more menacing kills (by today’s standards)
Official CLC Score: 9.5/10