London Film Festival 2012 – day one: Frankenweenie
Frankenweenie is a special film for a number of reasons: it’s a remake of Tim Burton’s story of the same from 1984; it’s a collaboration between Burton and Disney (Burton was sacked after submitting the original Frankenweenie to Disney); and it is the opening film to the 56th London Film Festival.
The plot centres focuses on the story of Victor Frankenstein and his dog Sparky. After Sparky’s untimely death, science obsessed Victor brings his best friend back to life. Things take a turn for the worse after Victor’s classmates try to replicate his experiment for the school science fair.
The film takes after the classic universal monster movies of yesteryear, being in both black and white as well as 3D. A baffling and delightful number of references to the horror genre are littered throughout the movie, with some being obvious and some more subtle. While Frankenweenie is reverential of the horror genre, the story and characters are charming and interesting to entertain anyone that isn’t an expert of the horror genre.
The aesthetics of Frankenweenie are marvelous, not only are the characters expertly crafted but, the backgrounds are awe-inspiring. From the panning shots of town to the lighting, the visuals of Frankenweenie are an undeniable triumph. Obvious parallels will be drawn between Burton’s latest and his previous macabre stop-motion efforts. However it just doesn’t quite reach the charming or magical heights of A Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride. The story is both a pastiche and love letter to mid 20th century horror and as such feels a little bland when compared to Burton’s earlier films.
Frankenweenie is perfectly good but does not eclipse any of Burton’s previous work in stop-motion animation. The story is touching and somewhat exciting but seems to be lacking the innovation and imagination that separates Beetlejuice from Planet Of The Apes.
Read more reviews from the 56th London Film Festival here.
Watch the trailer for Frankenweenie here: