FOR THE LOVE OF FILM: The Frankenstein Theory


For The Love Of Film is a weekly column from film nerd and lover of all movies Justin Proper. Sometimes you need some help to figure out how to enjoy movies, and we are here to help! No longer will you need to fear movie night because your friends have no taste in film. With this column you will be able to love even the worst gems to ever grace the silver screen.

Dracula, Wolfman, The Mummy, and Frankenstein’s monster used to be the icons of horror. Vampires turned into sparkly pussies more interested in stalking teenagers than draining victims, werewolves are now giant wolf creatures or basketball players and The Mummy now takes shit from Brendan Fraiser. But whatever happened to Frankenstein’s monster? For those old enough to remember the last time we saw the hideous creature he was played by Robert De Niro in 1994.

A truly horrifying beast indeed.

All the other monsters got to remain relavent (albeit re-imagined in the worst ways) while the Frankenstein’s monster fades into obscurity. Well in March of this year the makers of  The Last Exorcism decided to try to change that with The Frankenstein Theory. This film’s premise is that Mary Shelly’s book was actually inspired by real events and the real creature is still alive and well in Canada. Why Canada? I am not sure, probably because it is a vast frozen wasteland full of sasquatches and drunk moose playing hockey while eating french fries covered in gravy and cheese.

For the record, I think poutine is the most delicious way to get a heart attack.

The Frankenstein Theory’s setup is almost great. A smart guy who has been disgraced from academia hires a documentary crew to accompany him in his quest to prove that his relative was the real Dr. Frankenstein based on a series of letters he has found. He has decided the monster is following a caribou herd so he knows where to find him. The crew sets out with the help of a Canadian hunter who is well versed in survival, hunting, and tracking in the tundra. That dude is definitely not your stereotypical friendly Canuck, but instead a stern outdoorsman who is not a fan of the contrastingly jovial film crew. Oh, sorry, I lost a few of you there, those words mean they joke around.

“I’m here to chew bubblegum and kill monsters, and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

This movie definitely has some flaws. The plot moves at a crawl, with not much action until the end. Nearly the whole first and second act is just setup, driving, and talking. I get that it would be a long trek, but the best part about movies is you do not need to show how fucking boring it was getting there. Instead of going day by day they could have skipped from day one to the day the monster shows up and let the action be the bulk of the film. In Trollhunter it did not take them over half the film to find a damn troll. 

I watched The Frankenstein Theory and all I saw was this dumb cabin.

You should not let that discourage you from watching the film, however. The main draw for me was that this is a Frankenstein’s monster movie and that inherently has value. Taking a classic that has not been used and putting a modern spin set The Frankenstein Theory ahead of other found footage horror. In a time where ghosts, dinosaurs, and even sasquatches have found footage movies it is nice to see someone give a little respect to the classics.

Apparently the creature was assembled from the corpses of giants.

If you want a new take on an old classic and do not care if it is necessarily an oscar contender than look no further. If you have a sick fascination with indie horror that is found footage you have got it. If you just really love Frankenstein’s monster (I’m looking at you, guy with the tattoo of the horror icon) see this film. Otherwise, it might not be your best bet because it is honestly pretty fucking boring.


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  • kimberlytheidon

    I watched this film last night, and found it riveting. Out of curiosity, this morning I
    scoured the Internet to get a sense of the general reaction to the film. Most striking to me is the absence of
    discussion about the ending. It is
    clearly not out of a concern for “spoiler alerts,” because many of the posts
    offer a plot synopsis. Even Wikipedia
    offers a scene-by-scene summary, and then misreads the ending by stating that
    the monster carries off the woman’s body. This would imply a cadaver, yet another in a series of
    similar fates. However, that is
    not how I understand the end of this film at all. Throughout the movie, the academic hot on the monster’s
    trail insists that it is a rational creature with whom one can converse, and that
    Frankenstein is looking for companionship. Said academic meets his demise, indicating that conversation
    is not on the monster’s agenda.
    Then, as the only remaining crewmember cowers in the yurt — and she is
    female, please note — the monster barges in and knocks her
    unconscious. While this occurs off
    camera, the sounds are not congruent with previous carnage. Rather, the viewer hears two quick
    blows. We then see Frankenstein
    throw her over his shoulder, grab the ratty doll that someone previously
    gathered up from the floor of the yurt, and walks off into the wilderness. Frankenstein has found the “companionship”
    he desired, and the ending is far more disturbing as a result.