The Bride of Frankenstein

The Bride of Frankenstein ★★★★½

Go. You stay. We belong dead.

In a heartbreaking display of agency and choice, James Whale's superior sequel The Bride of Frankenstein hits on all the emotional beats that the horror of its predecessor missed out on, as well as a stronger fleshing out of the story as per Mary Shelley's novel. The two major highlights here are the Monster's encounter with a kind blind violinist who teaches him how to talk and communicate, and the other, of course, is the creation of the Bride herself, who, in only five minutes of screen-time, manages to set the tone for the movie as a whole. The plot and action of the film is generally sequel-like, continuing the story of Henry Frankenstein and the Monster, but once Dr. Pretorius decides to lead Henry into creating a Bride, the underlying tragic dialogue around love, loss, life, and loneliness suddenly becomes more clear. A Gothic tale through and through, the heightened set design and Franz Waxman's sonically rich score drive the film to a level beyond the original: though I do highly recommend watching them back-to-back. This is a classic.

There's also an interesting meta-narrative with the idea of projecting Mary Shelley herself onto the Bride with her doomed fate, implying she believed this fate was too worth than death... but that's another discussion for another day!

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