Lisa Frankenstein Movie Review

Lisa Frankenstein movie poster

Clever concept. Great writer. Terrible experience. That sums up Lisa Frankenstein, an imaginative romantic comedy-horror that looks like early-career Tim Burton, feels like late-career Tim Burton, and is as dead on arrival as one of its main characters.

From writer Diablo Cody–who did Juno, Jennifer’s Body, Tully, and Young AdultLisa Frankenstein is about an awkward teenage girl who is lusting after a dude from school but has caught the attention of a corpse who is aided back to life by fresh body parts and a dysfunctional tanning bed. It’s a fun concept if done well.

It is not done well.

Scene by scene, Lisa Frankenstein looks the part. Directed by Zelda Williams (this is her first major release) and set in the 1980’s, the movie is filled with color, colorful characters, and weird antics. And yet scene by scene the movie mercilessly falls flat. From start to finish. Without fail.

As good as of a writer as Cody is, Lisa Frankstein feels like the screenplay needed another few passes through the ringer before going into production. The elements are all there, yet the humor is strained and nearly nonexistent. Each scene feels like a chore, or like a bad SNL skit with no punchline. Star Kathryn Newton does her best to inject energy into the material, but the expected bite isn’t there that would give real life to everything. Cole Sprouse is amusing as the corpse–the physical humor will go underappreciated–but just isn’t given much to do.

Lisa Frankenstein flails and flails, but what at first you think is a film finding its footing is actually a rotting corpse farting out the last whiffs of life-gasses. It’s a dreadful experience. Even at 100 minutes, the movie feels insufferably long–I literally fell asleep three different times, in the theater. What a disappointing, DOA waste of time.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

Originally Published Here.

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