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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ proves that chivalry isn’t dead

Savanna Nichols

“Lisa Frankenstein” is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie for the hopeless romantic who wishes to be swept off their feet by a rich man — or the corpse of one.

The 2024 movie is a modern reimagining of “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley. Instead of a mad scientist and his monster, the movie focuses on Lisa, a teenage outcast with a crush on the statue of a dead man at the graveyard. 

“Lisa Frankenstein” follows Lisa as she settles into a new town after her mother was murdered and her father remarried. And, oh, she accidentally brought a dead man to life.

Lisa struggles with romance, an awful stepmother, a perfect step-sister and how to keep The Creature a secret with a trail of murder behind her. On top of that, she’s alternative and awkward, which makes her an outsider to her peers.

The movie stars Kathryn Newton as Lisa and Cole Sprouse as The Creature. If “Lisa Frankenstein” was made in the late 80s, I’m sure that we would have seen Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp in the lead roles.

It’s very reminiscent of the campy 80s romance/horror movies like “Heathers” or something made by Tim Burton, but with a modern interpretation and production quality that blows those movies out of the water.

The fashion in the movie was incredible. Through outfits, it explores different high school stereotypes while focusing on the alternative scene using color and styling to bring out the differences in characters.

Initially, I was worried about Spouse’s appearance in the movie because I haven’t been able to take him seriously after “Riverdale,” but he had a good performance in the movie — partially because he was dead and unable to speak. He should stick to this motif in further roles.

Zombies and similar creatures are not a staple of the romance genre, for good reason. Other monsters like vampires and werewolves have the benefit of being close to humanity, but partially above it — super-human. Those monsters are easier for an audience to connect to because of the perceived mystery and power dynamics at play.

In almost every instance zombies are the opposite of romantic — decomposition, worms, lack of motor abilities and a stench of death are not sexy. But this movie does a good job of developing The Creature’s humanity throughout the movie, much like the work it was based on. 

It helps that the movie doesn’t directly focus on The Creature because Lisa has a crush on another guy in the school, making a “perfect” love triangle. 

The Creature is as close to the hypothetical of bringing a Victorian child to the modern day, but he’s a whole adult man. His character, who spends most of the film hiding from Lisa’s family while he bumbles around, benefits from an air of innocence and wisdom that captures the internal struggle of a man stuck in time. 

The movie explores themes of isolation, humanity and romance through a lens of comedy to the audience. If you take the movie too seriously, you may not enjoy it, so just go to the theater hoping for a good time. 

“Lisa Frankenstein” is an offbeat comedy that I would suggest to anyone longing for the aesthetic of 80s campy comedies with a modern spin. 

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About the Contributors
Taliyah Winn
Taliyah Winn, Assistant News Editor
Taliyah Winn is the assistant news editor for the Sunflower. She is a sophomore at WSU, double majoring in political science and journalism. In her spare time, Winn relaxes by drawing, weightlifting, and crocheting - usually while listening to music, YouTube videos, or Dungeons & Dragons podcasts. Winn uses she/her pronouns.
Savanna Nichols, Illustrator/Designer
Savanna Nichols is an illustrator at The Sunflower. Nichols is a junior pursuing a studio art degree, hoping to pursue a career in illustration after graduation.

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