• 14-02-2024
  • Sandra Lehmann

Lisa Frankenstein

The Resurrection of Teen Angst and Horror

In an era where horror comedies are a dime a dozen, "Lisa Frankenstein," directed by Zelda Williams and penned by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, aims to stitch together the macabre with the whimsy of teenage infatuation. With a premise that echoes the eccentricities of Tim Burton's early work, Williams' directorial debut attempts to channel the unforgettable visuals of Lisa Frank with the timeless narrative of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." The film introduces us to Lisa Swallows, a modern-day gothic misfit, beautifully portrayed by Kathryn Newton, whose life changes dramatically when a moment at the cemetery catapults her into a darkly comic adventure. Before diving into the guts of the movie, it's important to note that "Lisa Frankenstein" does not shy away from high-voltage themes of love, acceptance, and the multifaceted horrors that plague a teenager's life.

The Electric Current of Creativity Meets Pitch-Black Humor

From the outset, "Lisa Frankenstein" exudes a flashing neon sign of originality, with a rich tapestry of vibrant colors contrasted against the gloomy backdrop of teenage turmoil. Kathryn Newton delivers a haunting performance, enlivened by an ensemble cast that includes Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, and Carla Gugino in compelling roles. The creature, embued with Henry Eikenberry's poignant silence, offers an otherworldly charm to the antics that ensue.

Despite its creative premise, "Lisa Frankenstein" is not immune to missteps. One discernible weakness lies in its pacing - the film occasionally meanders a bit too long in the cemetery of its own ideas, losing the brisk tempo a comedy-horror hybrid might need. Subplots involving Lisa's family drama shuffle between necessary context and distracting detours. The visual effects, while strikingly colorful, sometimes feel disjointed from the storyline, veering into aesthetic overindulgence that dilutes the emotional gravitas. Furthermore, the narrative runs the risk of tripping over its zest to repurpose classic tropes, occasionally stumbling into predictable territory that savvy viewers might see from a mile away.

Viewer Impressions and the Animated Rebirth of Gothic Comedy

Audience reactions to "Lisa Frankenstein" can be likened to a lightning bolt - electrifyingly divided. Some have lauded the film for its biting satire and the transgressive boldness with which it handles delicate subjects, praising Newton and Eikenberry's chemistry. Others argue that the movie's surreal eccentricities drown out its deeper messages and diminish its potential to be a dark horse in the genre.

Viewer reviews often highlight the film's dazzling use of color and design, which pay homage to the iconic Lisa Frank brand, with many fans appreciating this stylistic nod. However, some have commented on the film's tonal inconsistencies, with the zigzagging between horror and comedy not always hitting the mark for everyone. "Lisa Frankenstein," for all its ambition, settles into a niche category - a film that people will either treasure as a cult-like gem or dismiss as a mishmash of better-left untold stories. One thing's for sure - whether it's adoration, aversion, or perplexity, "Lisa Frankenstein" resurrects a response from its viewers and incites a conversation about the modern teen horror-comedy and the art of blending poignancy with punchlines.