03rd Aug2020

‘Baby Frankenstein’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Ian Barling, Cora Savage, Rance Nix, Andre Gower, Mike Rutkoski, Bill Rutkoski, Patrick McCartney, Eileen Rosen, Yannis Stergiopoulos | Written by Mike Rutkoski | Directed by Jon YonKondy

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this movie based on the title alone. Perhaps some weird Frankenstein spin-off? Or maybe a twisted zombie tale? Or a comedy horror? What I wasn’t expecting was a family friendly Halloween-themed ‘horror’ movie, but that’s kind of what I got with Baby Frankenstein.

Lance (Ian Barling) stumbles upon ‘Baby Frankenstein’ and the two almost instantly embark on a kind of older/younger brother relationship. But it turns out there’s a $50,000 award for the ‘little dude’ and Lance along with his next door neighbour Truth (Cora Savage) must stop his mother’s boyfriend of sorts from capturing him and getting the money.

The story sounds about as ridiculous as it is but it gets away with it because it has that family (almost children’s) film vibe to it. Although I say that, it strangely has a couple of moments and themes which would make it a bit awkward if you were watching this with say a ten year old. This is odd and a little frustrating because it seems to be the type of movie the filmmakers are trying to make, so why throw in things like the unnecessary mention of sex in one scene. There’s also a creepy neighbour in a scene that I guess children might not see much wrong with but as a parent, it was creepy for the character to ask the trick or treaters into his house!

Ignoring this though, there’s clearly influences from such great films as E.T. (they even go trick or treating with Baby Frankenstein) and Home Alone (unfortunately the two villains aren’t anywhere near as entertaining as The Wet Bandits) within Baby Frankenstein. But the homages to movies like these still work on some level… The main one being that it does succeed in being a feel good movie – you will be smiling plenty, even if you’re not exactly laughing out loud.

The cast are largely inexperienced and it does sometimes show. Barling and Savage in the two leads are both likeable, which is key to the movie and they have some good chemistry with each other and Rance Nix as Baby Frankenstein. The other cast are fine without anyone really standing out, although genre fans might recognise a now very grown up Sean from The Monster Squad (Andre Gower).

Baby Frankenstein does feel a little bit repetitive at times. The new ‘kid’ discovers things he’s never seen before – bowling, escalators, sweets, etc, we see his ‘cute’ reaction and then move on tp the next thing. While at the same time they are on the run from the bad guys – although there never feels like there’s any danger really.

As far as family-friendly horror drama comedies, there’s not a whole lot of competition for this film. Although there’s plenty of decent family friendly Halloween-themed animated films, this does stand on its own as a live-action example of the genre. Baby Frankenstein is a perfectly acceptable, if largely uneventful and will at least make you smile by the time the end credits role and that might be what people need right now.

Baby Frankenstein is now on VOD and DVD from Wild Eye Releasing.


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