Mary Shelley's classic 1818 novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, has been remade and adapted by Hollywood countless times, going back to the early days of film. The newest version, Victor Frankenstein, shifts the focus from the monster to its creator, played by James McAvoy, and even more to his assistant, Igor, portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe. The movie's trailer features a lot of slick visuals, fast-paced action, and explosions, but only fleeting views of the monster(s). So as is the case with any movie about Frankenstein, fans are wondering: Is Victor Frankenstein scary?
Probably not. The movie hasn't been reviewed yet, but both its marketing and statements from those involved portray the film as having light horror elements at best. So with that being the case, just what kind of movie is Victor Frankenstein? The film's official synopsis definitely doesn't sound scary, and instead comes off more like a character study:
"James McAvoy is Victor Von Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe stars as Igor in a unique, never-before-seen twist on Mary Shelley’s classic 19th century novel. Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man—and the legend—we know today."
As for the film's stars, the former Harry Potter star told Collider last October that he wouldn't classify the movie as horror, and reiterated that it's more about his character and Dr. Frankenstein. "I think our Frankenstein is a really kind of rip-roaring, fun adventure movie version of Frankenstein," Radcliffe said. "I would really struggle to class it as horror. I think there are horror elements to it and nods to previous versions of Frankenstein, but it’s much more a film about — the thing that I hope will make it stand out is the relationship between James’ character and I."
When it comes to Victor Frankenstein himself, McAvoy also neglects to call the film scary. Instead, he told Fangoria just this month that Victor Frankenstein is a dramatic film with some comedic elements mixed in. "The film is a drama, but he also has much more of a sense of humor than we normally associate with Victor Frankenstein," McAvoy said.
Finally, there's the film's trailer, which does not play like a horror movie. There's no ominous music and no jump scares; instead there's a hip, auto-tuned version of a Doors song and lots of explosive action. There are monsters, and they're fairly scary-looking, but they're not presented in such a way that will inspire viewers to sleep with the lights on.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Victor Frankenstein. Part drama, part comedy, and part action-adventure, the movie promises to be unlike any movie about Frankenstein that's come before it... and that means toning down the horror in favor of something brand new.
Images: 20th Century Fox; giphy (2)