Lisa Frankenstein (2024)
February 11, 2024 11:42 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] 80's teen misfit Lisa (Kathryn Newton) struggles with a new school and a new family when her dad remarries. She clashes with overbearing, Jazzercising stepmom (Carla Gugino) while her super-positive cheerleader stepsister Taffy (Liza Soberano) tries to change her social standing, but Lisa would rather spend her nights in a cemetery. Her favorite pastime: taking care of the grave of a pianist who died by suicide in 1837. After a deeply humiliating experience at a party, Lisa goes to her happy place and says the somewhat magical words, “I wish I was with you.” A few well-placed lightning bolts later, the mud-covered Victorian-era corpse (Cole Sprouse) is lumbering into her house, becoming the companion she needs, but also kicking off a murder spree.

Also starring Henry Eikenberry, Joe Chrest.

Directed by Zelda Williams. Written by Diablo Cody. Produced by Mason Novick, Diablo Cody for Focus Features. Cinematography by Paula Huidobro. Edited by Brad Turner. Music by Isabella Summers.

49% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now playing in theaters.
posted by DirtyOldTown (8 comments total)
The first third of this feels at least eight or ten minutes too long. It's like watching an assembly cut. Shots hold too long, sequences play out with unnecessary detail, music seems missing. It feels flabby and inert.

And then once they get past the Frankenstein riff and settle into something that's more like Heathers with a zombie boyfriend, it finds its rhythm and is fun the rest of the way through.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:43 AM on February 11

I was wondering where I’d heard Liza Soberano’s name before: this is her first American feature but she’s already had a career in Filipino TV and movies. I remembered her name because she was slotted to play Darna (a superheroine based on a Filipino comic book) in the recent series relaunch but had to leave due to reportedly breaking bones in her hand on an earlier project.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:52 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

I found this a fun movie, but I want to be careful about recommending it. You gotta weigh how much nostalgia you have for vintage Gen X culture (even if it's clever/meta, like giving Lisa a chance to say, "Dammit, Janet"), how much you like horror comedy, and what your tolerance is for teen movies before you decide whether to see this.

I had a blast, but this is mostly Cody fucking around. It doesn't have the satirical barbs and surprising depth her best work has. And I don't say that to downplay it, just to help people calibrate. Let a writer have a fun one. I certainly enjoyed it.

I'd say that if the trailer would look fun to you even if it weren't a Diablo Cody script, go for it. If it didn't, and you were only curious because it's the writer of Juno and Young Adult, I would give pause.

Also: Zelda Williams is that Zelda Williams. She's Robin Williams' daughter.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:40 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]

I mis-read this as being about the neon-loving designer Lisa Frank, and the synopsis really confused me.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:34 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]

My hilarious, savage kid: This would be more period-accurate and horrible if when the guy from a century plus ago regained the ability to speak he was like, super, super racist.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:35 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]

As a debut feature for Zelda Williams, it's very promising and I hope to see more from her in the future. As a Diablo Cody movie, it's arguably a more simplistic version of what she and Karyn Kusama pulled off with Jennifer's Body 15 years ago.

For me, the whole enterprise was justified by the Pixies' "Wave of Mutilation" needle-drop towards the end, which was perfect; I feel like whatever its final box office numbers are, like Jennifer's Body it'll find a belated cult following on streaming.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:52 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]

While I liked the soundtrack and the axed off penis to the strains of a power ballad was definitely a worthwhile choice, aside from that I felt deeply meh about this film, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to this one.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:40 AM on March 2

With all the axe use I was expecting the death of Lisa's mom to tie back in somehow.

That and I thought the final reveal would involve the classic Bride of Frankenstein hairdo
posted by ckape at 9:49 PM on March 2

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