The Bride of Frankenstein

The Bride of Frankenstein ★★★★

We belong dead.

Or: Green Jesus Can't Catch a Break. Clear from the start, in one of the coolest ways I've seen a sequel summarize the events of the original, that this is going to be a very different feature from its predecessor. Off the bat, I think I like this and the original feature about the same for varying reasons. The original is a straightforward horror flick and a legitimate bone-chiller in its philosophical musings. This film, while it isn't exactly a comedy, I would feel more than comfortable calling it a "farce." Bride of Frankenstein retains the subtext and some of the chills from the original, sure, but it's also clear that Whale is going for a lighter atmosphere. Characters that are vessels for either chuckles or annoyance, so you can get some entertainment out of the bad stuff that happens to them. With no character is that more integral with than The Monster himself. Karloff is great once more, and actually gets whatever bits of "character development" you can offer to a character like his. You feel for him even more than you did before. He's just trying to be, hating his very existence, and people just scream or die whenever they go near him. When he gets his chance to have someone that can truly love him, an immortal "friend", well, that doesn't really pan out too well either. A darkly humorous affair reaches a truly heartbreaking finale, and by a mixture of good direction, quality performances, and creative dialogue, it all comes together well. This all said, I am now pretty certain that the best version of this story will always be Young Frankenstein.


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