Greetings horror freaks. You know, I’ve always been a fan of the Frankenstein movies (as well as the novel). The Monster is one of the most recognized of all the horror icons, and while the classic movies weren’t entirely accurate to the book, I still loved them. So when I heard about The Frankenstein Theory, it easily caught my attention. How did it fare to your humble Gravedigger? Let’s find out.
Jonathan Venkenheim is obsessed with his theory that the novel Frankenstein is not only a “work of non-fiction, disguised as fiction”, but his ancestors were actually the basis for the novel. Not only that, but he’s convinced that the Monster is still alive and living roughly somewhere in the Northwest Territories/Arctic Circle border. His friend Vicki convinces him to let her make a documentary about the whole thing, and naturally she and her crew are having trouble buying into it all. Vicki’s crew are especially not too pleased to hear that Jonathan plans for them to go search for the Monster in a particularly desolate area of the Territories. But they all journey on, and after a questionable interview with a witness, and picking up a hunter named Carl to help guide them through the tundra, the search begins.
This is a hard movie to talk about. Because while I do have good things to say about it, there’s one nagging thing that bothers me a LOT. I’ll talk about what I liked first. But be warned, the negative that I mentioned will actually dip into something I try to never do, and that is spoilers. I swore to myself I’d never do spoilers for my reviews unless absolutely necessary, and I feel this may be one of those times. I’ll warn you just before it happens.
First, I really like the acting in this movie. Everyone did such a great job. When Vicki told her crew how badly she needed to do the documentary to get ahead, I totally felt it. When her crew acted like whiny little dicks, I completely bought it and really disliked them for it. Carl the hunter/guide was very much the grizzled hunter/gatherer you might expect to meet in Northern Canada. And I could see the obsession and determination in Johnathan’s face and eyes when he talked about his theory. In fact, Kris Lemche’s performance as Jonathan reminded me of Jeffrey Combs in his 80’s prime throughout.
I also really enjoyed the scenery throughout their travels. They took some great shots of the surrounding rivers and mountains. And when they make it to their destination, you can imagine being there yourself and feeling the desolation around you (aside from the wolves of course). And the camerawork was done very nicely. Shockingly, especially for a found footage flick, I was less offended by the cameras shaking in TFT than I have been with Hollywood’s feature films that are SUPPOSED to use steady cams. Ahem, sorry. I’m back in control now. As well, there’s not a whole lot in the way of makeup effects to talk about. Almost all of the kills are off-screen, and you don’t even see some of the bodies afterwards.
Ok, I can’t hold off from it any longer. The only major issue I have with this movie is this: YOU DON’T REALLY SEE THE MONSTER!!!! To be specific, when you finally get a visual of the Monster, there’s only 10 minutes left in the movie. And at that point, its first just a silhouette of him from a distance. The other point is right at the end, and unless you pause it, you’re not even going to see a really good shot of him then either. See the movie poster at the beginning of the review? Study it, because that’s the ONLY good look of the Monster you’ll get. Look, I grew up on 80’s horror, so I’m perfectly capable of going through the slow buildup of seeing a monster, killer, etc. But I at least want to get a good look at some point int the movie!! This was just unacceptable.
I’m very torn on what to rate The Frankenstein Theory. I recommend this movie in as far as how well it was made and acted. But if you’re looking to actually see a monster tearing through victims like Kleenex, you’re out of luck here. It’s really a shame. Just a little more of the Monster and it would have gotten a higher score. That’s all I got. Rest in peace, horror fans. I have a cold to combat. 🙂
Macabre Rating: 4 out of 5 tombstones