This was a bit of a slip up…
Considering how much I like this movie…I have no idea how I managed to forget to include it on this site!
I know, I know – it’s one of those love/hate Found Footage movies. I find that fans of the genre either love it, or despise it.
I happen to love it.
It’s been a (long) while since I originally watched it, so I sat through it again last night…and enjoyed every minute of it…
When he is suspended from his university job for his outlandish ideas, Professor John Venkenheim leads a documentary film crew to the rim of the Arctic Circle in a desperate effort to vindicate his academic reputation. His theory: Mary Shelley’s ghastly story, “Frankenstein,” is, in fact, a work of non-fiction disguised as fantasy.
In the vast, frozen wilderness, Venkenheim and his team search for the legendary monster, a creature mired in mystery and drenched in blood. What they find is an unspeakable truth more terrifying than any fiction…a nightmare from which there is no waking.
The Long Way Round
I should first start off by pointing out that I understand why so many horror buffs did not enjoy this movie. Found Footage movies sit heavy with some horror fans due to the large portions of inactivity in the plot (what you and I would call the ‘build’ of the movie!).
The Frankenstein Theory is long-winded, a long and windy road of a plot with very little action…but that’s exactly the way this type of story should be!
In my personal opinion, I think the last ten minutes of this film contain some of the best Found Footage moments ever shot (yeah, that’s a pretty bold claim!).
I love the way the climax is suddenly thrown on you, and you go from clever character development and interaction…to full-on horror.
So I get it – I get why certain people don’t like this movie.
It’s not a ‘thrill-a-minute’ fright fest with jump scares and gore all over the place. It’s a much more reserved horror.
The key to this film is that the filmmaker (who was the brain behind The Last Exorcism) had a decent enough budget to put together a likeable cast. This meant that the movie easily pushed it’s way past those dull initial scenes.
I was also impressed by actor Kris Lemche’s portrayal of Jonathan Venkenhein. At first I thought that maybe he was a bit too small, clean cut, and young, to pull off a mad scientist role…
But I was wrong.
The more the movie unfolded the more he fit into this interesting character.
When I re-watched the movie last night I was also taken aback by the dread the final half an hour managed to inflict without the use of much blood. There are quick shots of a couple of dead bodies, and a handful of blood trails in the snow…
But that’s about it!
It’s a clever move, as in some countries would have no problem in rating this safe for the younger teenage generation to watch.
In my book, The Frankenstein Theory follows the Found Footage ‘recipe’ perfectly. The characters are great on screen (even humorous at times!), the danger escalates gradually, and then everyone disappears one by one.
It should really act as a sort of ‘reference book’ for new indie Found Footage directors (and fuck me – the majority of them need some help these days!).
I also recognize that it is a slow film, if you are not a Found Footage fan, and this is why it balances out as a love/hate experience among critics.
I love it though! 🙂