Monday, November 23, 2009

The Real Beauty of Frankenstein

Who can’t forget the masterpiece that is Frankenstein? It is one of the most compelling and infamous horror movies in last 100 years and it one of the original Universal Monsters. I loved this film ever since I saw it, and as a little kid it was pretty terrifying… although, I don’t want to give this movie a review because it’s already got the reputation as being phenomenal and I don’t want to beat around the bush. No, what I want to talk about is the one scene that I so vividly remember and really touched me when I saw it and that is, the scene where the Monster plays with the little girl by the lake.

Here is the scene: The Monster is wondering around the country side trying to escape the mobs and he comes across a little girl in white, sitting by the lake and picking flowers. The Monster then lunges towards her but instead of attacking her, he kneels down and picks flowers with her. The little girl then talks to the Monster and tells him how to make the flower heads float in the water, and the Monster actually laughs and has fun… before he picks her up and throws her into the lake, inevitably killing her.

Why does this scene stand out to me from the rest of the movie, because the scene is so beautiful, innocent and funny. The shot takes place in a beautiful lakeside plain, filled with flowers and wonderful mountains in the background. The girl is wearing white and picking white flowers, showing her innocents. This scene shows that the Frankenstein Monster does have feelings, they may be very primitive and they may be very blunt, but he does feel compassion and the sense of joy. It’s also funny in a morbid sense of humor, when the Monster, in the height of his glee, picks up the girl and throws her in the water. As an audience, we laugh because we think it’s funny… much like the way the Monster laughed. It’s not until a little later when we realize that the girl died, and as an audience we are taken aback. Audience manipulation at it’s best.

It’s not hard to see that this is one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie and it weren’t for Karloff’s brilliant acting the director’s sense of style… it wouldn’t have worked. I think as far as I am concerned, this is probably one of the most touching scenes in horror history and I don’t think there will ever be anything close to it.


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