in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 1

Frankenstein (1910) <i”” />

Dir: J. Searle Dawley
Cast: Augustus Phillips, Charles Ogle, Mary Fuller

The year is 1910; a loaf of bread costs five cents, Theodore Roosevelt became the first president to ride a plane, Mother Teresa is born, and Edison Studios releases Frankenstein, one of the first horror films ever made. You could possibly categorize some of Georges Méliès early shorts as “horror” but those were only about 2 minutes long. Today’s film is a whopping 12! Adapted from the classic novel, this version, although relatively simplistic, still manages to hit some compelling themes.

It’s basic in its narrative, introducing Dr. Frankenstein, chronicling his experiment, the moment he creates an out of control monster, and so on. A series of title cards fill us in but they rarely seem necessary. They’re painfully obvious, much in the vein of a high school yearbook caption. Though considering this film is 100 YEARS OLD! Much of these minor flaws are forgivable. Just the fact that this movie is still entertaining and interesting is a feat to marvel at.

The ending is rather peculiar as the monster walks into a mirror, which Frankenstein then looks upon in horror. I suppose it’s addressing the matter of “Who’s the real monster?” That’s deep, it’s amazing to see such a complex idea tackled in such an early film. If anything this is fun to watch simply for the historical value, a real blast to the past.

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