In a class that I am in, we are currently studying German Expressionism, and the teacher used "Frankenstein" as one of their examples of the movement in American film, but I ended up buying it to catch a few parts that we skipped. The film itself, however, stands out as a horror classic, despite its flaws.
There are so many great things about this film. The cinematography is really good. The film includes a POV shot through a spinning wheel that it is greatly metaphorical for the characters' views of each other. I love Boris Karloff's performance. He is extremely expressive with so few words and facial expressions, resulting from his character's physical abilities and the oppressive prosthetics. Colin Clive also gives a very good turn as Dr. Frankenstein, delivering lines memorably and with passion. The Maria scene still shocks me every time. The production design is phenomenal and still looks good, even after 85 years. And despite many inconsistencies with the novel from which it is based, I think that the film does just as good of a job characterizing the monster as its source material.
Despite many amazing elements, there are still a few minor flaws. For example, Frankenstein is not the protagonist, that is the Monster. The fact that the Monster was not named, much like the book, has resulted in the general public referring to the Monster as Frankenstein, which is incorrect. This could imply a lack of character development of the actual Frankenstein, Dr. Henry Frankenstein. Also, the film is only an hour and eleven minutes long. I understand that when this film was made, the process was much more difficult, however, I would have liked to have seen a bit more carnage caused by the Monster, which would have resulted in the film feeling less rushed.
So overall, "Frankenstein" is definitely a horror classic. It's a bit rushed, but it has an interesting story and has some great technique from 85 years ago and is a must see for any film fan who hasn't seen it and can also serve as a great, tame introduction to the horror genre.
Big Tuna's Rating: A
How Did I Watch It?: DVD/Blu-Ray in a class; Digital that I own.
Had I Seen It Before?: Yes.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.