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Zelda Williams
Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberland
Writing Credits:
Diablo Cody

When a freak accident reanimates a corpse from the abandoned cemetery where she was spends time, Lisa must keep his arrival a secret from her family and classmates, all while she decides how much she wants to help him and at what cost.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DVS
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 101 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 4/9/2024

• Audio Commentary with Director Zelda Williams
• 5 Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Resurrecting the 80s” Featurette
• “An Electric Connection” Featurette
• “A Dark Comedy Duo” Featurette


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Lisa Frankenstein [Blu-Ray] (2024)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 2, 2024)

Mary Shelley’s iconic 1818 novel Frankenstein inspired scores of adaptations over the last two centuries. For the latest big-screen version, we go to 2024’s Lisa Frankenstein.

Set in 1989, high school senior Lisa Swallows struggles to deal with the death of her mother and her father Dale’s (Joe Chrest) remarriage to the self-centered Janet (Carla Gugino). This also lands Lisa stepsister via the cheerful and popular Taffy (Liza Soberano) as well as a move to a new town and school.

During a thunderstorm, lightning brings a corpse (Cole Sprouse) back to life. Lisa and the Creature embark on an improbable relationship.

I’ll say this for Frankenstein: at least it spins the Shelley source in new directions. In particular, the movie casts the reanimated corpse concept into an 80s teen comedy milieu.

That said, I can’t call Frankenstein wholly original, mainly because it comes with a heavy Tim Burton vibe. From the depiction of vapid suburban society to the quirky mix of dark humor and horror, we get a film that wouldn’t feel out of place in the Burton filmography.

To add to this, Newton seems to channel her inner Helena Bonham Carter as Lisa. Sprouse’s Creature also feels like a role that easily could’ve involved a young Johnny Depp.

All of this leaves Frankenstein as something different in its loose connection to the Shelley source but nonetheless not especially original. The film also feels unsure of where it wants to go.

Not that a movie couldn’t pull off a mix of horror, satire and black comedy. This movie simply fails to explore and balance those domains in a particularly compelling manner.

This doesn’t mean I find Frankenstein to offer a dud. It manages moderate entertainment, even with all the inconsistencies.

26 during the shoot, Newton seems long in the tooth to play a teen, but she still portrays the part’s challenges pretty well. Sprouse develops a competent take on the reanimated corpse as well.

Director Zelda Williams manages the affair in a mostly positive manner as well. While she doesn’t find much new to say, she does nothing to harm the project.

In the end, this leaves us with a mildly entertaining mix of genres that keeps us with it. However, it fails to develop into anything especially clever or memorable.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Lisa Frankenstein appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into an appealing presentation.

Sharpness usually fared fine. Some softness crept into a few interior shots, but the majority of the flick looked accurate and distinctive.

No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws also failed to mar the proceedings.

With its 1980s setting, we got a broader than usual palette, as the film tossed out some bold purples and pinks. However, much of the movie opted for the usual amber and teal. Whatever the choices, the colors offered positive impact.

Blacks felt dark and dense, while low-light shots brought appropriate clarity. The image satisfied.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Frankenstein it also worked well, as the soundfield offered a nice range of information. When horror-oriented sequences occurred, these gave us a lot of material.

For instance, a thunderstorm used the various speakers in an involving way, and a few of the Creature-related scenes also threw out good details around the spectrum. The surrounds added strong reinforcement and fleshed out the room well.

Audio quality appeared positive. Speech was natural and concise, without edginess or other issues.

Music felt usually robust, with solid range. Effects were also clean and dynamic. This was a very good track that served the film well.

When we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Zelda Williams. She provides a running, screen-specific look at the opening credits, cast and performances, hair and costumes, sets and production design, makeup, editing and cut scenes, changes made for a “PG-13” rating, music, and related topics.

Though the track starts a bit slowly, Williams eventually gets into a groove. This means that after this spotty beginning, we wind up with a commentary that turns fairly engaging and informative.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of three minutes, 37 seconds. Given the brevity of these sequences, don’t expect more than minor character embellishments from them. We get nothing noteworthy.

A Gag Reel runs two minutes, 26 seconds and provides the usual goofs and silliness. Nothing especially interesting arrives, but at least the compilation doesn’t last too long.

An Electric Connection spans four minutes, 43 seconds. It offers notes from Williams, writer Diablo Cody, and actors Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, and Liza Soberano.

The reel looks at characters and themes as well as performances. Only minor insights arrive in this superficial piece.

Next comes Resurrecting the 80s. This four-minute, 34-second featurette involves Cody, Williams, Sprouse, Newton, Soberano, department head hair Donna Spahn Jones, costume designer Meagan McLaughlin Luster, producer Mason Novick, production designer Mark Worthington and actors Carla Gugino and Henry Eikenberry.

As implied by the title, we get a look at ways the movie attempted to recreate the look of the 1980s. Though brief, it gives us a good look at these efforts.

Finally, A Dark Comedy Duo goes for four minutes, one second. It brings info from Williams, Cody, Novick, Newton, Gugino, Sprouse and Soberano.

“Duo” covers the movie’s stabs at laughs. Much of it just praises Cody and Williams.

As a mix of black comedy, horror and satire, Lisa Frankenstein offers decent entertainment. However, it feels too much like “Tim Burton Lite” and doesn’t become anything memorable. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio with a few bonus features. Expect a watchable but not impressive film.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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