This very sober and (comparatively speaking) faithful adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel stints on the usual horror aspects, but isn't that compelling on subtler psychological or dramatic terms to compensate. Per Oscarsson, cast as the re-animated "monster," is a fine actor who'd been extraordinary in Swedish classics like "Hunger." But even though the movie spends more time detailing the monster's cruel education in "humanity" than most, he still isn't allowed the depth needed to give a fully dimensionalized performance. (It doesn't help that Per isn't much tricked-out in makeup terms beyond black lipstick, and is forced to speak phonetic English.) Plus the desired pathos falls short, not to mention the expected suspense or shock value this film utterly fails to achieve. Nonetheless, it's watchable as a rare serious stab at addressing the novel rather than simply exploiting its cinematic heritage. The scenery is spectacular, the performances decent, the direction intelligently measured if lacking real atmosphere or excitement. I appreciated it--just wish it were better.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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