New Horror Releases: Baby Frankenstein (2020) - Reviewed

There is a certain charm to a movie where the characters have a simple goal, or not really one at all, and it is executed in an entertaining way. Baby Frankenstein falls into this category. This movie uses hilarious characters and intentionally awkward dialogue to create humor, while a loosely structured plot pulls the action forward. This movie features two teenagers Dauvin(Andre Gower) and Truth (Cora Savage) who discover a tiny automation in their attic. Once they switch it on, the baby Frankenstein (Rance Nix) leads them on a chase through the town and countryside. Dauvin’s stepdad (Patrick McCartney) is also searching for the Baby Frankenstein to try and sell it to National Geographic for a profit.

This is a movie that thrives on a particular vibe to the dialogue. The dialogue is super conversational, and very fast paced with a lot of people talking over each other. It is similar to how a skit on I Think You Should Leave feels, where the lines and the awkward way they are delivered creates humor. One character tells Dauvin that he is going to try and sleep with his mom later, and Dauvin and Truth react exactly as you think they would. The quick and humorous exchanges keep the movie moving and really quite funny at times. The characters will directly crack jokes at the expense of other characters, or simply say things to mess with them. 

The lines are really only as funny as the characters delivering them, and this movie had some really funny characters. The stepdad was perhaps the funniest character in the movie. He is an awful person and does little to hide it. He says nasty things all the time, and spends much of the movie harassing Dauvin in the strangest ways possible. Perhaps even funnier than this, he has a friend who is always standing in the background, never speaks, and is constantly asked about in every scene he is present in. 

The soundtrack is another aspect of this movie that was put together really well. Each group of characters while they are moving around and going about their business has a soundtrack that accompanies them, and that sort of fits to their personality. When they come onscreen their music starts up, and often times fades away as another group takes the camera’s focus. It helped to establish a set tone of whimsy throughout the movie.

What this movie did really well was create absurd and awkward situations that play out well on camera, and are quite funny. However when the movie tries to introduce an air of danger to put pressure on the characters to movie the plot it came off as forced. The plot was a much weaker driving force in the film when compared to the characters and dialogue, and it should have been left that way. There is nothing wrong with a largely irreverent film that makes me laugh, which is exactly what this is.

-Patrick Bernas