‘Lisa Frankenstein’: A feel-good kind of female rage

‘Lisa Frankenstein’ is a feel-good kind of female rage

/ 03:17 PM February 07, 2024

‘Lisa Frankenstein’: A feel-good kind of female rageKathryn Newton as Lisa and Liza Soberano as Taffy in "Lisa Frankenstein" | Image: YouTube/Focus Features

Kathryn Newton as Lisa and Liza Soberano as Taffy in “Lisa Frankenstein” | Image: YouTube/Focus Features

Lisa Frankenstein” is a satirical dark comedy that affirms that madness and goofiness can go along well. A campy horror flick that is meant to make one feel they are seen, especially the girls who feel so much passion inside them that demands a sense of release. It effectively captures the emo girl trend that is bound to create ironic humor that will elicit a few laughs when least expected.

Following the story of Lisa, a teenage girl who’s grieving for her mother’s death and also surviving her dad’s new marriage with a stepmom who sees her as weird and needs help, yet she has a supportive stepsister, Taffy, who sometimes helps her cope. But Lisa’s main escape is hanging out in an old-fashioned cemetery, where she develops a sense of belongingness in the presence of a deceased bachelor who will later come back to life, and together they will embark on a journey searching for love and acceptance.


The cast did not try to outshine each other, giving the same amount of unbalanced acting usually showcased in 80s narratives. Kathryn Newton as Lisa gives the “it girl” moment a touch of goth and humor. Cole Sprouse’s only outlet is his facial expression, and he grunts to showcase his acting ability considering he’s playing dead, making himself rather effective. Carla Gugino, as Janet, is a master of women in horror, whose fear and agony are always evidently shown on her face.


And of course there’s our very own Liza Soberano, who employs a different skill set, gives her all in portraying the sweet, lovely, yet insecure Taffy. Soberano displays a sheer amount of confidence in showing that she can act with poise but can also be lunatic in nature. This Hollywood newbie is sure to make a mark in the Big Apple.

A creative input is always inspired by another, so one would easily feel the intended imitation of Tim Burton’s style in “Lisa Frankenstein.” Zelda Williams gives an eccentric direction that is fun and has a Gen Z touch. Diablo Cody is undeniably a screenwriting master of this genre. Her female gaze gives women a genuine representation of what it means to be peculiar in their little, girly ways.

“Lisa Frankenstein” tries to chew more than one storyline at once, which has affected the unbalanced pacing, making the main point of the story tangled in needles. It could be a problem if some members of the audience aim for a direct narrative. Is the story about unconventional love? Or is it a friendship between a misunderstood girl and a dead man? Or sisterhood, or family drama? Or is it about oneself coming to terms with the demons in their head? It is subjective to the person who will go out of the cinema.

Despite the narrative being told many times in the past, with the likes of Death Becomes Her (1992) or Jennifer’s Body (2009), it is still refreshing to see female characters on screen being totally unafraid of their cruelty. In a world where girls or women are expected to act perfect and polite, seeing female characters like Lisa unapologetically unhinged is a justification that femininity can mean rage and that girls or women can act crazy, especially if pushed to a limit. It doesn’t make them a bad influence or person, just someone who acts according to how they are being treated by society or those around them.

“Lisa Frankenstein” has a good soundtrack, but it could have been a banger if it properly utilized more of the sound design, not leaving any scene without music to accompany it. However, with its homage to 80s themes in visuals and feels, “Lisa Frankenstein” is a decent watch if you’re just in for the vibes. Sometimes there is no character development or redemption arc needed for a story to work, just characters doing insane things just for the sake of it, and maybe that’s enough.

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TAGS: Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Movie Review

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