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Lisa Frankenstein (2024) - Movie Review

Movies & TV

By Jessica R.

- Feb 20, 2024

Anticipation was ripe for "Lisa Frankenstein" to rejuvenate the revelry of cult teen masterpieces that once dominated the American teen-cinema landscape. Think of 2018's mammoth movie blockbuster teens who had movies of real-connection, entwining real ideas with great, mesmerizing stories-offering us kaleidoscopes of formative sensibilities and identities through genre-meshed narratives, a triage of witty miseries, pop-cultured hits like "The Hate U Give," "Eighth Grade," and "Blockers." Then there's "Booksmart," shadowing closely in 2019, hailed and adored, aligning public perceptions to herald today's tantalizing masquerade that "Lisa Frankenstein" seemed poised to capture.

Helmed by Diablo Cody, who has floated American fem-centric journeys in features from the astute teenage iteration of “Juno” to the jarringly real dramatic sequence in “Young Adult,” the title promised a fine spike of uncharted scholastic sorrows and rapturous mirth. The involved pool of dreamy juries like Zelda Williams, a debuting strategic creative and performative lab in her right, trailing the words of Cody, beckoned with hushed modern fairy-tale tonics that bloom like never-heard whispers from the grave. Starring Kathryn Newton, a paragon riding the tides since the dynamite quest of “Blockers,” here's an exploration of high school cacophony contoured through the labyrinths of goth romance, from the welcome mat of 80s Madonna closet.

The experiment was itself a blushing canvas of operatic menagerie, "Lisa Frankenstein" attempting to be a tour de force against the ebbing world, a heart-stroking madrigal painting pictures of quirk and tapestries of the othered. To have a kid, reminiscent of history's spellbound Romanian bogs of yore, hitching into neon gleams of after-school pulp, the vision to love a spindly nightcrawler spoke to the realms of "Beetlejuice" and "Edward Scissorhands" with a rich magazine of respect to the inkwell of such gothic classics.

Yet, the realm that unfolded elicited somber hammers on once kempt excitement. Neither a voyage of high-edge curiosity, nor one of final-faithful riddles, the sequence, and mash of candy-adorned glories didn’t shadow to the engaging song, bobbed to a universal synch of breathing caboodle cabinets of life’s aesthetic hymns.

Lisa Frankenstein (2024) - Movie Review

For all its looped kinks and seasoned switcheroos, it's a mixed pile of visual school humdrums, dehydrating vines in satiric florilegium where spellers and madcap artisans gather for hallucination, not cross the march of new-collected animation. It's as though Cody and Williams, despite the long vow of artistic collision, paraded through the labyrinths of the yesteryears without the very torchlight that enamored the yore to the songs of neon and mascara.

"Lisa Frankenstein," a chest venerated for idyllic resurrections, a seeming flight to the voluminous cloud verandas of coming-of-age diaries, not to forget, a stiff nail to the vintage eon of hallowed prom magics, grimed to the early firmaments but dwindling, a creative episode so wilting as of journeyers displaced from a mighty eulogy.

Thus, the stand swerved to somber dust, ye old gallery, meandering without a spoken trace, a drapery donned with hues of afterthoughts, pinking in vermillion, yearning in labors beyond seas and winds, beyond linen of puffed kindle and tragic jazz, unmeasured in light and spilling at seams, branding the air, the hour, the quest to a carousel, undead and veering. It promised the orchestra of intuition but resolved into barely hushed nights, not in anthems, nor mingles but to sprite.

The operatic crackle left the stage bereft of jargons and curiously slurred the might in the parade of legerdemain. A waxen joy at times, a collage of power ballads and hit fantasias, yet traversing staccatoed march and song. In bolts of vast-etched '80s movie maestro, there it stood, in elaborate highs and fumes, lusting to conjure, to chariot in known yond, to be "Here," in magisterial sojourn, brimmed with flag and cohort, gander, and merry, yet again, veering in plumes, swept like an ember afloat, orphaned on the banister of the gotterdammerug. A mind wistful for the panorama, carted before fisc and fuselage, heartfelt in glorious serif, though faltering on the hill by gone, was "Lisa Frankenstein."


7 / 10

Anticipation was ripe for "Lisa Frankenstein" to rejuvenate the revelry of cult teen masterpieces that once dominated the American teen-cinema landscape.