• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare the Creation Scene in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein & Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Version

Extracts from this document...


Compare the Creation Scene in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein & Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Version There are many similarities and differences between James Whale's 1931 and Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Frankenstein. They differ in the way that lighting, sound effects and camera shots are used to create tension and suspense for the audience. Some similarities that occur are the religious references which are present throughout the scenes. The purposes of the scenes are also the same, to create tension, suspense and to shock the audience; however they do this in different ways as the audiences the two films were intended for are very different. It would be easier to shock or scare a 1931 audience than one from 1994 as the special effects and camera techniques available in 1931 would have been very limited. Where as in 1994 there were many special effects and techniques available to use. Furthermore, James Whale's Frankenstein is more of a traditional horror film as it uses typical iconography of the horror genre. Where as Kenneth Brannagh's Frankenstein follows Mary Shelley's original novel more closely. The establishing shot of the scenes in James Whales and Kenneth Brannagh's interpretations could not be more different in the way that they create tension and suspense for the audience. James Whale uses typical iconography of the horror genre; the scene opens with a high angle, long shot of a very dark, quite daunting looking castle on top a large hill surrounded by sparse trees and craggy rocks. ...read more.


The scene then moves on to a tracking shot following Frankenstein walking quickly through the lab; by doing this he has reveal who the footsteps belong to and where they are going, but has also created a new tension for the audience as they don't know why Frankenstein is agitated and moving so quickly. The way in which the monster is revealed to the audience and brought to life in the two films is also very different. In the 1931 version of the film James Whale delays revealing the monster for as long as possible. He uses interruptions, such as the arrival of Elizabeth, to distract the audience from the monster, this builds up a lot of suspense and frustration for the audience as they want to see the creation but cant. Also, the monster is revealed to the other characters before it is revealed to the audience, the reactions of the other characters towards seeing the monster helps to build tension for the audience as the audience are wanting to know what the creation looks like and why it has made the characters act this way. James Whale uses camera angles to create suspense as he hides the monster from the audience's view but shows the characters faces instead. During the creation of the monster a lot of mechanical sound effects are used, such as the moving of heaving machinery and electrical sparks, this could ...read more.


Furthermore, a gloomy and depressive atmosphere is created by the bells which can be heard in the background, these could signify death or funerals. Nevertheless, James Whale's and Kenneth Brannagh's interpretations of Frankenstein do have similarities; they both make references to religion and specifically Christianity. In James Whale's interpretation Frankenstein is wearing a white lab coat, this could symbolize the purity of God and Frankenstein's attempted to play God by creating life. Further on in the scene Frankenstein is bent over the monster stroking its hand. This could show that Frankenstein is taking on a fatherly role by caring for the monster and showing it love, this could also be religious symbolism as Frankenstein could be seen as God tending for his son, Jesus Christ, attempting to bring him back to life. Kenneth Brannagh's interpretation again shows religious symbolism. Towards the beginning of the scene the monster is lying on a wooden board with its arms outstretched, this could be an imitation of Jesus on the cross, Frankenstein then hoists the monster up to the ceiling and it is bathed in a bright light from the window, this could be seen as Jesus rising up to heaven as the monster appears to be disappearing into the light. In conclusion, I think that the ways in which James Whale and Kenneth Brannagh have created tension and suspense for the audiences are very different; they have done this by using sound effects, lighting techniques and camera shots but in very different ways. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mary Shelley essays

  1. Compare three stories of suspense in three different styles of writing

    the stillness gave no token," because there is something at the man's door but it is not clear what it is. The atmosphere in the opening of "The Raven" is similar to the atmosphere all the way through the story, unlike "Man Overboard" and "Frankenstein", where the mood of the stories changes more frequently.

  2. Compare the Creation Scene in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein and Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Frankenstein

    In comparison, in Kenneth Brannagh uses a more contemporary opening scene, with a candle creating flickering shadows on a red wall. This coincides with the original book much more than James Whale's, as in the original by Mary Shelley she describes the room as being lit by a half extinguished

  1. Compare and contrast the way in which the directors of 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' (1994) ...

    All the props used symbolise death to such a degree of unsubtlety that there is even a grim reaper present. There are many crucifixes and headstones; but these serve a double purpose- by constantly reminding the audience of the religious connotations of these symbolic objects, many will also, if not consciously, realise how sacrilegious Dr.

  2. An interpretation of a scene from K.Brannagh's (1994) "Frankenstein", noting references to Mary Shelley.

    The monster inside is dead but it is soon going to be newly born. The fires that heat the cradle could be the fires of hell showing that what Victor is doing is wrong. The fires of hell also link with the sub-title "A Modern Day Prometheus" In this story

  1. Frankenstein - Compare the opening sequences of Mary Shelley's novel 'Frankenstein' filmed by James ...

    He had gone to the village where frightened villagers attacked him. Eventually he found refuge in a hovel next to the house of the De Lacey family, which consisted of a blind man and his two children. By observing and listening to the De Lacey family he learnt to speak and read.

  2. Closely analyse the scene where Frankenstein brings to life his creation in James Whale's ...

    I also think there has always got to be evil in a horror movie and that is the bad guy in the movie. I expect there to be murders, mystery, things that make you jump and the totally unexpected to happen.

  1. Compare and contrast the way in which the Directors of 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' (1994) ...

    In 1930 French-born director Robert Florey was hired by Universal Studios to make the new horror film 'Frankenstein' but he did not satisfy producer Carl Laemmle Jr, and so Director James Whale was hired to replace Florey. Whale, an acclaimed Director, chose 44 year old Boris Karloff as the monster

  2. Compare and Contrast the episodes of the creation of the

    This makes him more angry and vengeful; he wants someone else to suffer for the pain that is being inflicted on him. He then, two months later, stumbles across a small boy, later found out to be William, brother of Frankenstein.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work