One of the most enduring, influential and popular faces of horror cinema is that of Frankenstein’s monster. Since the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel back in 1818, the idea of a mad professor reanimating the dead has persisted throughout popular culture. There have been many interpretations and uses of her creation over the year, often straying from the text. The most faithful adaptation, even though it does take a few liberties, is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
During a troubled expedition to the North Pole, Captain Walton (Aidan Quinn) encounters a distressed Victor Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh), who recounts his life story. Growing up in Geneva with his adopted sister Elizabeth, whom he will fall in love with, Viktor had a happy childhood. When he’s away studying at the University of Ingolstadt under eminent professor (John Cleese), his mother dies. Traumatised by the loss, he vows to find a way to conquer death…
Branagh’s decision to stick closely to the book is what works for and against Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. There’s an impressive cast, including Robert De Niro (Creature), Helena Bonham Carter and Ian Holm, and the detail add depth to the vision. However, while the story is obviously terrifying, times have changed. Taking the initial setting back to the Arctic is works well but a few more risks could have been taken with the source material. Regardless, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is still an entertaining literary adaptation.
4K Ultra+ HD Blu-Ray Special Edition Contents:
- New 4K restoration from the original camera negatives by Sony Pictures Entertainment
- 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
- Original uncompressed stereo audio and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary by film historians Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains
- Brand new interview with composer Patrick Doyle
- Brand new interview with costume designer James Acheson
- Brand new interview with make-up designer Daniel Parker
- Mary Shelley and The Creation of a Monster, a brand new documentary featurette on the origins and evolution of the Frankenstein story, featuring Gothic specialists David Pirie, Jonathan Rigby and Stephen Volk
- Dissecting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a brand new featurette with David Pirie, Jonathan Rigby and Stephen Volk on the differences between the novel and Kenneth Branagh’s screen adaptation
- Frankenstein: A Liberal Adaptation from Mrs. Shelley’s Famous Story for Edison Production (1910): The first screen adaptation of Shelley’s story in a 2K restoration by the Library of Congress, with music by Donald Sosin
- Original trailers
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Laz Marquez
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Jon Towlson and Amy C. Chambers
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is released on 4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 28 March.