The Bride of Frankenstein

The Bride of Frankenstein ★★★★★

I finally got around to viewing this iconic movie, and what better day to watch it then on my 29th birthday. “Love dead! Hate living!” Same. 

This was a surprisingly heartfelt and emotional film for being early horror and a black comedy. The gothic and expressionist cinematography is both gorgeous and makes the film look like a (queer) fairytale. I loved the part where Frankenstein comes upon the cottage in the woods, and the blind man within is the first (and only) one to treat him with kindness and human decency. Both are outcasts in a society that doesn’t see disabled people as worthy of love and companionship, as humans deserving to belong. The blind man plays beautiful music on his violin, and only Frankenstein acknowledges this. The isolated cottage is also a safe haven from the cruelty, harm, and prejudice of society - “no one will hurt you here.” Together, it’s almost as if there is a marriage between Frankenstein and the blind man as they break bread and set up house together. Heterosexual and abled society  intrudes, panics, and destroys the happy home.  

The camp is delightful and the atmosphere is spooky too. It’s quite astonishing what was snuck past the censors - I honestly thought this was made before the production code took effect. The special effects are really cool and have aged well. James Whale’s superb direction makes the whole film enjoyable. You don’t even notice that the eponymous Bride is in the movie for a grand total of 4 minutes. I loved this movie!

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