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THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Andrew Weiner

Starring:
Kris Lemche
Joe Egender
and Timothy V. Murphy

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
John Venkenheim is a young scientist with something to prove. He rounds up a film crew and heads into the deep, dark woods of Canada to find a created humanoid creature (in essence, a Frankenstein monster). Since this is a horror movie, you can bet that John and company run into some real trouble.
Is it good movie?
I know I can't possibly be alone in thinking that a found footage style bigfoot/Frankenstein monster flick would be awesome. I don't mind a good found footage movie if it brings something interesting to the table, and this one certainly has a cool concept. Coming from director Andrew Weiner, I'm disappointed to have to tell you that what could have been super awesome has turned out to be a pretty lame monster story as opposed to a story with any depth or originality. The monster could almost have been switched out for any kind of mythical creature.

Kris Lemche plays our wacky obsessed doctor, who is really out to sell you on this film and does a fairly decent job, though the character can be pretty tough to like through his levels of obsession. As I mentioned before, this film doesn't focus much on the "Frankenstein" aspect of things as you might hope and keeps many things in the darkness. For much of the film, you have to go by Venkenheim's thoughts, theories and beliefs. In fact, if you're looking for much monster-y goodness, you should look elsewhere. Like Blair Witch and others before it, this flick relies heavily on blurry night vision shots, lots of talking and "what was that" sort of stuff.

On top of that, the pacing of the film seems a little off. It takes the documentary crew so freaking long to get to their locale in the Northwest Territories that the movie has to try to get some scares and suspense by drumming up past encounters with local weirdos that come off really poorly. Things move well once the crew finally gets in the woods (and these woods have character, as they're in the deep, open areas in what is essentially a frozen tundra). In terms of the crew and their acting, it's all pretty typical stuff here. You get the believer, the one who refuses to buy in, and the one who's scared of everything. Still, they're doing their best and the cast isn't really a problem here. Christine Lakin's interviewer and Tim Murphy's wilderness guide are particularly effective and add to the proceedings.

Unfortunately though, the complaint that tends to ring true with many found footage flicks rears its ugly head here. It's a bit of a theory I have: no matter how suspenseful something seems, you need to think about watching it again afterwards. If the flick doesn't pay off like you might hope and all the suspense leads to dead ends, you'll know that you've been had and although you watched it once, you know you won't watch it again because it doesn't all add up, if that makes any sense.

At the end of the film, I have to say I wound up disappointed. You're waiting and waiting and there is a brief payoff but it just doesn't feel like it's enough. It's too bad that even after a decent final few minutes, the audience is left unfulfilled. Why couldn't the Frankenstein myth be looked at more deeply? Why is this monster just a bloodthirsty murderer (have you ever read the book)?
Video / Audio
Video: 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen, and looks as gloriously hideous as a handheld footage film should. Nothing special here.

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 comes through quite clearly, again, nothing special but totally passable.
The Extras
Nothing to see here.
Last Call
The Frankenstein Theory unfortunately wastes a fantastic premise that could have paid off in spades. Instead, it's a well acted and somewhat competently put together film that feels really predictable and run-of-the-mill, with a monster that is almost inconsequential. Too bad.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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