Frankenstein Review

Image for Frankenstein

Adapted and updated from Mary Shelley's story, Dr Frankenstein assembles an re-animates a creature from dead human tissue, only to reject it after he is successful. Mistreated by(almost) sundry, the 'monster' becomes an angry outcast hunted by the community.


The most important horror movie ever made, with Boris Karloff joining the immortals as the flat-headed, big-booted, sad-eyed monster - whom director James Whale made a resonant figure by dressing him up like one of the scarred WWI veterans then on the skids all over America. Colin Clive's neurotic mad scientist and Dwight Frye's hunchbacked brain-dropper collaborate on the making of a man, but the innocent turns savage when mistreated by all and sundry.

Besides Karloff's still-heartbreaking mime, the film offers wonderful Gothic sets, a cracking laboratory, Whale's slyly camp gallows humour, a torch-bearing peasant mob and many other images that resonate through the years.

Completists note: this digitally remastered print has a thundercrack over the often-censored "Now I know what it feels like to be God" line, but is otherwise fully restored, complete with footage unseen for many years in which the monster accidentally drowns a little girl.

Beautiful photography, a heartbreaking story, and iconic moments from beginnning to end. Absolutely unmissable.