Sunday 4 November 2012

Review: Frankenweenie

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Frankenweenie poster

90 mins / Dir. Tim Burton

And so the third of this year's horror-themed animations hits cinemas, and if this doesn't school the young'uns in the ways of Classic Creeps and Chills, nothing will...

So, yes. Despite being trailered well in advance of its brethren, Tim Burton's spook-fest limps in last, more than likely using Hallow'een as an excuse for its tardiness. You'd think that with Disney behind the production, some money might have been spent using computer animation, to help the speed, if not the quality, but no. Burton's new film uses old-fashioned stop-motion photography, limiting the things that can be shown on-screen to the extent of the model-maker's skills.

As a further insult to the ticket-buying public, Frankenweenie has been made in black and white, of all things! Apparently this is some kind of tribute to old-fashioned horror films, but if that's the case, why isn't there a Dracula in the film? Or a wolfman? The name Frankenstein is used, but I notice there's no likeness of the monster - probably so that Burton didn't have to pay the full amount of money for the rights to use it. The story seems largely derivative of the classic horror genre, but without any proper namechecks.

Elsewhere, the voice-acting is left to a cast that features Winona Ryder (who's a Burton favourite anyway), and Martin Short as its high-points. If only someone had spent more money and gotten the likes of Adam Sandler and Kevin James on board; they could have injected to much needed humour into the proceedings. Instead, we're treated to 90 minutes about a boy who doesn't learn to let go of his pet dog and becomes a necromancer as a result. What kind of message is that sending to our children?

One thing's for sure: It's no Hotel Transylvania.


Spoilers: Oh, of course I enjoyed it. Sure, it's a little self-indulgent, but putting this much love into a film is bound to have that effect. You don't need me spending three paragraphs telling you how gorgeous Frankenweenie is, there are plenty of reviews doing that already ;D It's funny, dark, touching, and above all else, it has an actual message. If you don't enjoy this film on some level, you're a heathen.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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