Prolific British director Bernard Rose made his name with a pair of striking horror movies, Paperhouse (1988) and Candyman (1992), but the last decade or so has seen him creating a series of left-field low-budget literary adaptations with his quartet of films based on Tolstoy stories: Ivansxtc (2000), The Kreutzer Sonata (opens in new tab) (2008), 2 Jacks (2012) and Boxing Day (2012).
Now he combines both strands of his career with Frankenstein, an offbeat updating of Mary Shelley's classic Gothic tale that strikingly mixes grind-house gore with high-brow ideas as Xavier Samuel's tragic childlike Monster, whipped up by husband-and-wife scientists Danny Huston and Carrie-Anne Moss on a 3D printer, strives to survive on the streets of modern-day LA.
The film's low budget is all too clear and the violence occasionally eye-watering, but its thought-provoking ideas about nature and nurture are genuinely rich.
Certificate 18. Runtime 86 mins. Director Bernard Rose
Frankenstein debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Thursday 26 February and is available on Blu-ray & DVD from Signature Entertainment.
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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