The ice-locked crew of a ship searching for the Northwest Passage finds, to its collectiveastonishment, a near-dead man quite literally in the middle of nowhere. This individual is oneVictor Frankenstein (Alec Newman), and he recounts to the captain (Donald Sutherland) hishorrific tale of creating a monster (Luke Goss), and subsequently losing his family to themonster’s vengeance.
Of all the versions of Mary Shelley’s novel, this is probably the most faithful. The m…nstereven comes close to resembling her description, at least on a rather basic level. The script,however, is very flat and prosaic, and Kevin (The Land That Time Forgot, MotelHell) Connor’s direction no more than workmanlike. The big mistake involves the monster.His makeup is insufficiently monstrous, rendering most reactions to him nonsensical, and hisvoice is disconcertingly high-pitched. He is far too vulnerable to make for a convincing menace.The film runs 174 minutes, not the 204 claimed on the case.
The sound comes in both 5.1 and 2.0 options. Though it pains me to say this, I wouldrecommend selecting the 2.0. The surround effects in 5.1 are enormously weaker, and the bestatmosphere (as conjured by Arctic winds and laboratory thunderstorms) are found with the 2.0.In either case, there is occasional slight distortion on the dialogue, and its left-right movementsare sometimes bizarre.
The picture is fullscreen (this is made-for-TV, remember). The blacks are good, but theimage is sometimes a bit murky. This is less the fault of the colours (which are fine), and morethat of the image itself, which is rather soft.
A standard making-of featurette is accompanied by trailers for recent TV offerings10.5 and King Solomon’s Mines. The menu’s intro, main screen, transitions andscene selection screen are fully animated and scored.
Well, they gave it a good try. Faithful this may be, and less silly than Kenneth Branagh’sversion, but it is not about to displace the James Whale masterpiece.
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette