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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

Movie Review: ‘Lisa Frankenstein’ horrifyingly nails rom-com genre

Focus Features
“Lisa Frankenstein,” directed by Zelda Williams and written by Diablo Cody, released in theaters on Feb. 9.

Stitched together by screenwriter Diablo Cody, of “Jennifer’s Body” fame, and Zelda Williams, in her feature-length directorial debut, comes a bloody, dark romance-comedy that manages to revive the 80’s aesthetic with its humor, vivid color grading and genuine sweet romance.  

Lisa Frankenstein,” released on Feb. 9, focuses on Lisa Swallows (Kathryn Newton) trying to navigate the horrors of life as a teenage girl in 1989 as well as her developing crush on the undead man she has hidden in her closet, the Creature (Cole Sprouse). The film is rated pg-13 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes.

After the death of her mother in a home invasion, Lisa is quickly forced to uproot her life and move towns due to her father (Joe Chrest) remarrying just a few months later. She struggles with the adjustment, still unable to cope with the loss, nor is she able to connect with her judging stepmother (Carla Gugino) or well-meaning stepsister Taffy (Liza Soberano). 

During a party, Lisa wanders off to the cemetery she frequently visits and speaks with her favorite tomb, that of an unwed Victorian man. Wishing she were with him, meaning dead, before wandering home. That night, lightning strikes the grave, reawakening the man. He makes his way to the Swallows’ home and thus begins the love story between them as he becomes Lisa’s confidant, helping her with the issues by listening to her, something not many people have done. In return, she helps him acquire body parts to replace the pieces that had rotted during his time in the grave. 

The movie features beautiful, fun color grading. Extremely colorful, every scene stands out, the Swallows’ house is mostly pink and cyan and the grass in nighttime scenes is a vivid green. The vibrant colors are full of life, contradicting Lisa’s black and red wardrobe and gloomy mood. The costuming in the film is also gorgeous, especially Lisa, who quickly grows into her own after meeting the Creature and gaining self-confidence. 

Between Lisa and the Creature, a lot of the dialogue is one-sided. Unable to speak, the Creature vocalizes his opinions through body language or grunts. Sprouse flexes his acting capabilities in this role, able to accurately portray the emotions with his facial expressions as Newton carries their conversations through witty, expressive dialogue. 

The chemistry between the pair is extremely charming as well. Their support of one another and genuine care for each other is incredibly sweet, even if murder is the center of their romance. As Lisa tenderly sews a new body part onto the Creature, she does so with a level of care. The Creature, in turn, listens to her issues and offers advice in the form of headshakes or hand gestures. 

Overall, “Lisa Frankenstein” is funny and sweet. It’s gorgeous to look at from a design and color perspective, nailing both the romance and comedy aspects of its genre. It’s an enjoyable watch meant for anyone who enjoys dark comedy looking for some romanticism within their genre.

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About the Contributor
Satenik Ayrapetyan
Satenik Ayrapetyan, Managing Editor
Satenik Ayrapetyan is in her second year on staff, serving as the Managing Editor of The Pearl Post. She is in her junior year and serves as the National Honor Society’s Vice President and President of Pride Club. Additionally, she is also a member of the Los Angeles Times High School Insider Advisory Board. She is looking forward to a productive year on staff and hopes to be a good mentor to newcomers.
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