Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bride of Frankenstein

Horror sequels basically never deliver as well as their predecessors. (This is practically a known fact to anyone who's seen enough horror films.) It's when the director of the sequel knows what they're doing results in a solid film.

A prime example is James Whale's Bride of Frankenstein, released four years after the original. It's interesting because if you've seen Frankenstein, you would've thought that was the end of the story. But in fact, that was only the end of the first chapter.

In some ways, Whale actually improved what he told in Frankenstein. How so? He makes Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) regret his actions from before. He removes unwanted characters and adds those meaningful to the story. It's almost a tragedy that his career went downhill afterwards.

There are some analyses that highlight the hidden themes of Bride of Frankenstein, the main one being homosexuality. One analysis placed Whale in the form of the Monster (Boris Karloff), mostly the social rejection towards it. It's seems fitting since Whale was an openly gay director from an era where many homosexuals stayed in the closet. It's just a bold statement from him.

Bride of Frankenstein is without a doubt one of the best horror films in existence. It's an even more interesting film to watch if you've also seen Gods and Monsters (its title is a reference to a line from Bride of Frankenstein). Try to watch it as not just a horror film but also a character study.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite horror films ever. A nicely written review - I love the fact that Elsa Lanchester played Mary Shelley at the beginning, too! The Bride is considered one of the great movie monsters of all time, even though she's on film for less than 5 minutes, and she's the only classic monster to have never killed anyone. I'm glad you talked about the tragic undertones of the film - the ideas of acceptance, rejection, loneliness are represented so beautifully - especially in the heartbreaking scene with the blind man. I'm actually using moments from that scene in an anti-bullying presentation I'm putting together. The man's kindness (and the Creature's need for kindness) is so moving and powerful. Great review! (Also - Ms. Lanchester modeled her Bride after swans - they are beautiful, but quite nasty birds.)


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