The Frankenstein Theory (2013) – Andrew Weiner

 

Anchor Bay Canada was kind enough to send me a copy of this thinking it may interest me. So, I dutifully threw it into my player and had a look.

I’m not a huge fan of found footage films, but I do find them easier to watch on the small screen, in a theater I just start to get nauseous when the camera starts moving everywhere, so I went in with low expectations.

I was gently surprised.

It’s by no definition a great movie, but it’s a better example of found footage films, cut together to resemble a true documentary than a lot of the other films that are in the same sub-genre.

The story can be a little hard to swallow.

Frankenstein-Theory-key

Apparently, John Venkenheim (Kris Lemche) has been ridiculed for his theory – Mary Shelley fictionalized an actual account, a real scientific experiment that his own ancestors did. He’s also convinced that the creature is still alive some 200 years later, and is in the frozen tundras of northern Canada, migrating with his food sources, and hiding from man.

That doesn’t mean man doesn’t find him, and we learn of unexplained homicides and disappearances that follow the migratory pattern.

heather

So a documentary team is thrown together, including an old friend of his from university, Vicky (Heather Stephens). She and her team head out into the wilds with a guide, Karl (Timothy Murphy), and find themselves in the middle of nowhere, camping out in a small yurt, in the midst of some beautiful snow-covered country.

Which happens to be in the middle of the creature’s migratory pattern.

And he’s not so happy about it.

So of course, each member of the team is slowly picked off…

Lemche and Stephens both give fairly solid performances, and Murphy’s Karl put me in mind of Robert Shaw in Jaws (which I think is intentional), especially when he tells a story of a friend and a group of people who were hunted down by a polar bear, while the documentary team get drunk with him.

franken-two

Also, like Jaws, the creature isn’t shown, in fact for a large part of the film, you could almost believe that they were being stalked by a polar bear after wandering into its territory, and it may have been better had they played up that angle a little more. You only get glimpses of the creature, and even at the film’s end, when you get the clearest look at him, you still don’t see a lot. (In fact you see more of him on the film’s poster and DVD cover than you do in the entire film).

That kind of moviemaking I actually enjoy, leaving things to the viewer’s imagination, because by film’s end, you could argue that what they encountered was not the Frankenstein creature, but just some homicidal giant of a man living in the wilds of Canada, sweep out Frankenstein, and replace it with Bigfoot, and the film has been done a least a dozen times already.

Still the film work of the wintery vistas, the stable performances, and the less-than-typical-shakey-cam, all combined to raise this above your generic found footage film.

So if that sub-genre of horror is your thing, take a look and let me know what you think.

Now if someone could make a really good UFO/alien abduction found footage film, that might freak me out…

ft

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