Stars: Jeremy Childs, Shelean Newman, Shannon Hoppe, David Alford, Isaac Disney, Flint Adam, Matt Arnold, Skye Arnold, Colleen Barton, Sydney Bell, Jeff Boyet | Written and Directed by Billy Senese
Dr. Victor Reed is a brilliant geneticist who has just achieved a huge scientific breakthrough by successfully cloning the first human being, an adorable baby girl named Elizabeth. This immediately becomes a media spectacle and ignites a firestorm of debate concerning the moral and religious implications of such a discovery. Soon, Dr. Reed and his family lose all sense of privacy and safety as they are swarmed by protesters and the media. Their biggest threat, however, could be Victor’s own secret.
A Frankenstein Story is a science fiction thriller of the creepiest kind. It explores the impact that cloning a human could have. It explores the moral, scientific and religious inpacts of such an action also what might happen if it all goes wrong. In film terms, it is quite slow. However, it does build towards a final act which definitely will be giving me the heebie-jeebies for many nights to come. Do people still say ‘heebie-jeebies’? Never mind.
This is one of those films that tries to make you very uncomfortable and it isn’t afraid to go dark to do it. Obviously with a film based around experiments on babies, you can probably guess just how dark the film can get. I will admit, I did yell at the screen on more than one occasion “JUST KICK THE CHILD IN THE FACE!” which I’m a little ashamed of, but at the same time, A Frankenstein Story does call for some serious child-face kicking. It is that fact alone that actually makes the story seem a little unbelievable. One of Victor’s previous experiments comes back to haunt him, but as failed experiments go, it doesn’t seem likely that it would be able to cause as much damage as it did. (Notice how I am working hard to try not to spoil anything here? I hope you’re impressed.)
I guess suspension of disbelief is needed here, but are limits to my suspension and this just goes a little too far. That being said, it does make up for that point on sheer creepiness. The build up to the end is what really worked for me. Everything is drip fed slowly, through convenient shadows and flashbacks to build up the tension which is all released in a good old scream fest. This does mean that you have to go through all that build up though to get there and at points, I did find myself questioning if it was worth it.
You want a creepy science fiction which explores the darker side of cloning that might make you slightly violent towards children? Then A Frankenstein Story is the film for you.
A Frankenstein Story is available on DVD from High Fliers Films on January 25th 2016.