Lisa Frankenstein

Tagline : If you cant meet your perfect boyfriend…make him.

Runtime : 102 mins

Genre : Comedy Horror Romance

Vote Rating : 6.3/10

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Plot : In 1989, a misunderstood teenager has a high school crush — who just happens to be a handsome corpse! After a set of playfully horrific circumstances bring him back to life, the two embark on a murderous journey to find love, happiness…and a few missing body parts along the way.

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FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ "Lisa Frankenstein marks my first disappointment of the year. The youthful cast wholeheartedly embraces their campy roles, infusing deliberately exaggerated emotions and expressiveness for an evening of light entertainment with the promised levels of blood and 'macabreness'. Sadly, the screenplay lacks the same commitment to the absurd, resulting in tonal and thematic inconsistencies throughout a narrative less imaginative than anticipated. The ensuing indifference and uncertainty regarding the film's point and message leave a bittersweet taste..." Rating: C

Horror-Comedy (not the opposite) directed by Zelda Willians in her full feature film, and written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer's Body) that tells the story of a grief stricken teenager who had her mother slaughtered, and lives now with an abusive mother-in-law and a lovely sister-in-law. Kathryn Newton as Lisa is perfect for her role. Stigmatized by her past and actions the is the black swan of the school, and passes a lot of time in a old cemetery (watch the credits animation closely) of the 19th century on a tomb of another teenager that died with a green lighting into 1837. The movie emulates the 80's teenage romance-comedies (it passes in 89), in a light way till a certain previsible point - for sure it isn't as sugary as you may think to those who wonder. And have an unsuspected ending. I think it was worth for some laughs on a weekend night - I score it 6,6 out of 10,0 / B for the fun.

"Lisa" (Kathryn Newton) is a bit of a loner who lives in one of those second families where her rather feeble dad (Joe Chrest) has married the rather vain and odious "Janet" (Carla Gugino) who has a friendly daughter "Taffy" (Liza Soberano). At school, she has taken a shine to floppy-haired heart-throb "Michael" (Henry Einkenberry) and he seems to be a little interested too. Might romance blossom? Suddenly a lightening strike changes everything. The long-dead occupant of a grave she habitually sits beside when she is reading (Cole Sprouse) is electronically reinvigorated and finds his way into her home, her wardrobe and now, as with "ET", she has her own secret creature in the closet. Thing is, there are bits of her new friend missing - his ear, his tongue, his hand (that's not a comprehensive list!) - so the ensuing escapades mix science with comedy and some good old doses of vengeance as they try to restore him to his former, piano playing, glory. It could have been much more fun, this, if it had committed to the audience one way or the other. It's clearly gone for a wide appeal and so compromised on the darkness and adult nature of the humour. Many of the scenarios - especially at the the rather brutal and eye-watering conclusion, could have worked so much better had Zelda Williams aimed the movie more at those who could appreciate the dark comedy rather than dilute it down to something akin to a frat-comedy. It's better than I was expecting, and Newton does fine as the film progresses, it's just a shame it didn't really know were to go or who it was for.

There are glimpses of goodness, though so short they don't hide the film's frailties. 'Lisa Frankenstein' is, in my opinion, a disappointment. I can kinda see what they were going for and at times I could appreciate it, but all in all it doesn't really work for me. I will say the pacing isn't actually that bad, the film went by relatively quickly. The two big weaknesses to me were the dialogue and simply the story in general, both are rather quite dull... if they weren't, I may have enjoyed this. The cast are one of the film's more positive features. I like Kathryn Newton, I remember thinking she was great in the similarly underwhelming 'Freaky' from 2020, and she does try with what she's got to work with here. Carla Gugino is possibly the standout, I would've liked to have seen more of her. Liza Soberano is alright, while Joe Chrest plays a literal continuation of his Ted Wheeler. I will say that I felt the film did slightly improve towards the end, just not enough for me to say that I had a good time watching it unfortunately. I got to see this in an empty cinema, which is always nice. I see this got released basically a month ago everywhere else, wonder why the UK got it so late. I guess as there seemingly aren't as many films out right now due to that sandworm movie thingy taking over? Who knows.

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