Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Film review: Frankenweenie

About the film
Frankenweenie is a Disney comedy-horror film that was directed by Tim Burton. The film is a remake of Tim Burton’s short film of the same name, and also based on the film Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s book of the same name. Frankenweenie was released at the cinema on 17th October and it has a run time of 87 minutes. The film is rated PG due to scary images, thematic elements and action scenes. 
Victor Frankenstein is a young boy who loves science and making homemade videos. When his beloved dog Sparky dies in a car accident, the school’s science fair gives Victor the perfect chance to bring him back. By performing an experiment, Victor is able to bring Sparky back to life. However, other students manage to hear about this and want to bring their own pets back to life which ends up with monstrous results. 
What I thought
I’m not the biggest fan of animated films, especially not at the cinema. However, my flatmate always goes with me to see whatever I want so I said I would go with her to see this one. The cinema was filled with children which is not something I enjoy but I was determined to at least give this film a decent shot.
The whole film is in black and white, which I wasn’t expecting but I really liked this. It gave the film a big Halloween feel about it, which is perfect for this time of year. I did think smaller children may not like this though as it is something they’re not used to. The animations were really well done, keeping with Tim Burton’s theme of characters. Some of the characters have really long faces, weird bodies and all kinds of strange things about them but I loved that. Each character is so different and they all stand out in comparison to each other.
The beginning of the film was really entertaining, with us getting to know all of the characters involved, especially Victor. As a character, I felt so sorry for Victor as he didn’t have any friends. He pretty much stays inside on his own or plays with his dog. The relationship between the two was very special and it was a lovely thing for children to see. It also showed that dogs are for life and not something to be seen as a toy etc. It was a really sad moment when Sparky died which was made even more upsetting due to seeing the relationship between the two characters.
After this happens though, the film begins to get pretty strange. I didn’t like the middle of the film too much as it felt like nothing was really happening. This part of the film explores other people finding out about Sparky being brought back to life and shows more about the science fair and who wants to win. The middle of the film was just really bland and I thought that it needed much more excitement to keep the audience entertained. Well, an adult audience anyway. My flatmate was set next to me nearly falling asleep.
Luckily, the film does get better again towards the end as there are a lot of exciting things happening. Overall, the pacing of the plot was quite strange and not done very well. Mixed in with the action is some humour which lightens the mood of the film and makes it a little bit more entertaining and not quite as scary for children. I almost forgot to mention, this film is available in both 3D and 2D although I was not going to pay for the 3D version so I cannot comment on how well this was done.
While there were good parts to this film, it wasn’t great. Tim Burton seems to have gone really downhill recently, especially with Dark Shadows. There were some nice references to other horror films and books, especially Frankenstein (see character’s names) but children will be too young to really appreciate with. Frankenweenie is a fun Halloween film for children but it wasn’t really one for me!

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