What You Need To Know:
(B, L, VVV, S, NN) Biblical worldview with references to scripture & much moral discussion; 2 obscenities; excessive violence in operating on cadavers, 2 hangings, several murders, 2 mob riots, several shootings, grotesque & gory monster, & revived bride of the monster even more gory & grotesque with bits of scull showing through & horrible stitching & burns; marital kissing & fondling but interrupted by monster; and, brief male nudity of the new-born monster & nineteenth century revealing empire dresses.
MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN is a strong morality play, surprising in an age when most horror movies have lost their soul and become merely vehicles for gore, sex and violence. Set before the turn of the Nineteenth Century, the movie opens with a dogmatic British captain sailing his ship into the Arctic to find the Northwest Passage. Stuck in the ice, a phantom emerges out of the fog to confront the captain with a story of ambition run amuck. The phantom is Dr. Victor Frankenstein, who tells his story of an obsession with bringing people back to life. Victor tells how he created a monster from old body parts and was immediately horrified by what he had done. He asks God to forgive him, but the monster breaks loose to be tormented by the town and eventually to take revenge on Victor.
Regrettably, the surreal melodramatic style which Director Branagh has chosen for the film often overcomes the moral substance of the story, thus relinquishing the attention of the viewer. There is no foul language, but there is the grotesqueness of the monster and the violence that he engenders. If the director had been able to resolve the conflict between style and substance he could have brought us a great morality tale. As it is, MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN will instruct some, offend a few and be ignored by many.