Starring: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson
Director: James Whale
Running Time: 75 mins
Bride Of Frankenstein is an American film about the return of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, and along with another mad scientist, they build the monster a mate.
Classic horror is lauded as one of the greatest genres of all, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect watch for everybody. While the period’s distinct visuals and classic horror lore may be a pull for die-hard horror genre fans, for those looking for an entertaining horror movie, many of the films just feel a little too dated, and that’s unfortunately the case with Bride Of Frankenstein.
While it’s a visually exciting watch, with the brilliantly made-up Boris Karloff starring as Frankenstein’s monster, along with more fantastic set and costume design just as in Frankenstein, the film is really missing an emotional spark that makes it a fairly dull watch, never really managing to grab you with its story in the way that the previous film managed to do on occasion.
On that first point, however, this is a brilliant film to watch for fans of gothic era horror, simply because of its very distinct and often striking visuals. Frankenstein was impressive in 1931, but there is a big improvement in the scale and complexity of a lot of the sets, props and costumes in Bride Of Frankenstein, and that makes it really pop on a visual level, and will especially appeal to those who love the classic horror vibe.
But in truth, there’s not all that much that really grabbed me about this movie other than its visuals. I’m not the world’s biggest horror fan, but it wasn’t the lack of scares and tension that really disappointed me about Bride Of Frankenstein, but rather its lack of deeper emotion.
The first film suffered in the same regard, but there were moments where the story managed to bring the real emotion of Mary Shelley’s novel to life. Bride Of Frankenstein, however, really doesn’t succeed in that regard, and I never felt any real emotional connection with the characters, and as such struggled to keep full interest in the movie from start to finish, which was a real shame.
What’s more is that the film doesn’t have that distinctly eerie atmosphere of classic horror. While its visuals may achieve that on their own, there’s not much feeling for the genre beyond that, and the film really failed to capitalise on what could have been a strikingly unnerving movie, even if its story still wasn’t the most emotionally enthralling either.
Overall, I was fairly disappointed by Bride Of Frankenstein. Although it proves an exciting visual experience, it really doesn’t have much depth beyond that regard, and it makes for a rather dull and unmemorable hour or so of classic horror, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.3.