Lisa Frankenstein


In 2007 Juno, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Michael Cera and Ellen (now Elliot) Page was released. It was a sharply observed script, which won the film its only Oscar, which went to Diablo Cody for her first ever script.

It was an impressive debut, as the gold trophy testified too, but it somehow to date, appears to be a career highlight.

Here she teams up with Zelda Williams, daughter of comic legend Robin, making her full-length feature debut with this quirky, kooky comedy.

boom reviews Lisa Frankenstein
If i knew you were coming over I would have cleaned up the mess, honestly!

Attending Brookview High is teen Lisa (Kathryn Newton). She attends with her step-sister Taffy (Liza Soberano) who’s one of the popular girls. Lisa is struggling however, having recently suffered bereavement and moving to a new school and being the new girl and struggling to fit in.

She’s a bit of a Goth, so founds herself at the local graveyard where she finds herself talking to the grave of a young man buried there.

She wishes she could be with him, feeling that low, and thinks nothing of it.

However, during a freak storm, some lightning hits the grave, and the young man is brought back to life, in sorts, and finds his way to Lisa’s home.

Their initial reunion doesn’t go well, with the creature (Cole Sprouse) understandably the worse for wear. But then a relationship soon forms, that certainly brings Lisa out of her shell, which has killer consequences.

boom reviews Lisa Frankenstein
Hmmm it looks like rain, I hope it doesn't blunt my axe...

There’s a whiff of the familiar with Cody’s script that may or not be intentional, as it’s eerily similar in theme to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, as well as a sprinkling of his Edward Scissorhands for good measure. Unfortunately, despite some nice dialogue, it’s not Cody at her best. The story is sluggish in places, and the reason for having the creature there is, at times, hazy, leaving a young cast to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Williams’ also appears to be influenced by Burton visually too, as the entire film is most definitely Burton-esque. And as good a job as she has done, and she really has, it feels more like his gothic fingerprints on it rather than her own. It does indicate that she has talent however, and whatever she does next will be of particular interest.

What she does do well is not only evoke a sense of the period – 1989 – but also pay homage to the general silliness of the comedies of that time.

Still, it’s entertaining with a healthy dose of dark humour, with an impressive turn by the young Newton, who definitely embraces her inner Goth. Some praise should also go to Sprouse, who has to completely rely on the physicality of the role, as well as his miming skills, to not only bring his creature to life, but imbue it with a personality.

For Cody however, it’s probably her most spirited script in a long while, but much like the creature she creates, it could have had a bit more life injected into it, as she’s more than capable of doing that, as we all know she has it in her.

we give this three out of five