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“Lisa Frankenstein” is a horrific hit

(Photo courtesy of: Slash Film) “Kathryn Newton stars in “Lisa Frankenstein”.”

Riley Fontana
Connector Editor

“Lisa Frankenstein” is the latest outing from writer Diablo Cody and Zelda Williams’s directorial debut. The film follows Lisa Swallows as she navigates her senior year of high school in 1989 and also an undead corpse slowly falling in love with her. The film is a great example of film homage done well and how to walk the line between horror and comedy while keeping a film mostly family friendly.

Kathryn Newton stars as Lisa alongside Cole Sprouse as her unnamed corpse boyfriend. Sprouse has no dialogue for the majority of the film but is able to communicate through grunts and groans in a very captivating way. Not only does Sprouse communicate like a zombie, he also carries himself like his body is in rigor mortis and loosens as the film progresses. Newton captures the gothic punk teenage outcast energy the role demanded of her. She plays Lisa with the right amount of macabre interests and genuine teenage angst.

“Lisa Frankenstein” is an homage to 80s horror comedy from the jump. The scenery is flat and cheap-looking creating the feel of a low-budget cult classic film. While having the over-saturated sets of an old film “Lisa Frankenstein” also utilizes stunning modern visuals throughout its runtime. It captures the awkward teen phases of life as Lisa jokes with her new boyfriend about sex and her fears of the future. The movie also totes the perfect 80’s soundtrack to truly immerse audiences in the decade. The film also pays homage to very early cinema with many references to “A Trip to the Moon” from 1902.

The movie packs a punch with its costuming; from putting an entire high school into 80s attire to dressing Cole Sprouse as an 1800s bachelor, there is not a single thread out of place. Not only was the costuming department able to nail the everyday preppy look popular in the 80s they perfectly landed the more gothic and alternative outfits required by the plot. Coinciding with the costumes was the makeup department who were able to turn Cole Sprouse into both a zombie and a stone statue. Makeup was also able to emulate everything from the 80s from crimped hair to blue eyeliner.

“Lisa Frankenstein” is not a movie that takes itself seriously at all. It leans into the goofy and animated characters of campy horror films. The film has many lines that perfectly capture the offbeat energy of 80s final girls. There is some blood and gore in the PG-13 film but not enough to turn viewers away. It walks the line of sexual comedy while still being completely appropriate for teenage audiences.

While not proving a box office success, the film has already founded a cult following begging for a sequel. The writers left the ending ambiguous enough to leave viewers satisfied but also perfectly set up a sequel if given the opportunity. “Lisa Frankenstein” was targeted to a niche audience and the audience for which it was made has found it and is loving everything about it.

Overall Grade: A+

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