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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

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Lisa Frankenstein is Dumb Fun

The latest horror comedy feels like a B-rated horror movie in the best ways
Lisa Frankenstein is Dumb Fun
MXN Entertainment

Lisa Frankenstein is the newest horror comedy created by Zelda Williams, daughter of the late Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams. It is her first feature-length film that she directed and was inspired by Weird Science, B-Horror films, and Edward Scissorhands. She is joined by writer Diablo Cody, who also penned the scripts for Jennifer’s Body, Juno, and the Alannis Morrisette musical Jagged Little Pill. While the movie has been poorly reviewed by most critics, Lisa Frankenstein is still a good time at the movies that keeps its audience laughing and curious about what will happen next. For better or worse, this film has all the makings of a cult classic appreciated by a few die-hard fans while being ignored by general audiences.

The story feels like a straight-to-video movie from the mid-’80s like Puppet Master or Killer Klowns from Outer Space, just with a high-resolution facelift. The plot is absurd and nothing groundbreaking: Lisa, the weird girl at school who doesn’t fit in (Kathryn Newton), falls in love with a corpse from the 1800s reanimated by lightning (Cole Sprouse). There are hijinks as Lisa tries to hide her bug-infested beau from her vindictive adoptive mother (Carla Gugino), there’s a makeover scene, and Lisa eventually has to choose between living with the living and a dead romance.

While following a predictable rom-com formula, the movie is still very entertaining. The movie doesn’t waste a lot of time–instead, the first part of the story moves very fast with the setting up of characters and what happened before. This also allows for the second part of the movie to not feel rushed since it has more time. The dark humor of the film plays well, though at times it feels like the teenagers are acting less like real teens and more like the most articulate and witty members of the college debate team (a weakness of Cody’s writing that has held back all of her films).

The film does one unique thing by taking the trope of the popular cheerleader sister and making her nice. Far from the mean popular girls of Heathers and… well, Mean Girls, Lisa’s sister Taffy (played expertly by Liza Soberano) is kind, supports Lisa, and does her best to make others as happy as she is. The chemistry between Newton and Soberano is fantastic, and by the end, the horror audience will be rooting for the cheerleader character to survive for the first time in genre history.

Although it’s a decent story, the movie is best experienced when not looking too deep into the story and instead watching for the jokes, which will lead to a very enjoyable time. A few noteworthy features are the 2D animated glimpses into the past of Lisa’s corpse boyfriend (who is silent for most of the film) and the excellent set and the costume designs: everyone looks cool bathed in the bright neons of the ’80s. The ending of the story is unfortunately lackluster and nothing really special: it has the typical rom-com ending where everything is okay for the characters we like. Well, maybe not okay–not everyone makes it out alive and even those who survive are scarred for life on the inside (and sometimes on the outside too). This is a horror movie, after all.

The music choice in this was amazingly done, like “Micheal House,” which complimented the scene and felt like it was building up to a huge reveal, which it was, and “Lisa Meets the Creature, which matches the scene well by starting out frantic and then mellowing out and then picking back up.

All in all, Lisa Frankenstein is a fun movie that, even though it isn’t really deep, is still enjoyable and funny. This movie will be enjoyable if you like horror comedies like Evil Dead 2 or Cocaine Bear and if you want to watch a movie that you don’t have to look that deep into.

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About the Contributor
Kendan Cartwright, Staff Writer
Kendan is a sophomore who is new to the Lantern staff. Kendan enjoys covering movies and TV shows and can often be found at Frederick's Board Game Club. When not reporting for the Lantern, they like to hang out with their family, play board games, and watch horror movies.

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