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Frankenstein - 1931 and 1997.

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By Rachel Walsh Frankenstein - 1931 and 1997 Horror genre, sympathy for Frankenstein's creation and suspense Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly wrote 'Frankenstein' in 1818. She was only 19 at the time. She had a unique upbringing as her mother was a radical feminist and her father was a politician. She then went on to marry Percy Bysshe Shelly who was a poet and helped her to write some of her book. Shelly's book was thought to be the first horror/science fiction novel. There have been a number of productions of Shelly's novel on stage and in 1931 there was a black and white movie about it, directed by James Whale. Then in 1997, Kenneth Branagh did his own production of the well-known novel. Scenes showing typical horror genre, sympathy for Frankenstein's creature and scenes that create suspense are commonly found in the two movies of Frankenstein. The directors have used different media techniques to portray the movie in the way they want it to be viewed and interpreted by their choice of music, camera angles, special effects, editing, costumes, make-up, location and settings. The use of mise-en-scene is also important because if the things in the background don't match what's being acted the movie becomes unbelievable. ...read more.


Whereas in the Branagh version he looks more wild and rough looking. This gives us the feeling he does care about the outcome of the monster because he has been so busy trying to make the monster alive that he has forgotten about himself and when he thinks the monster is dead he goes "No, No, No", implying that he is saddened that it didn't work. In Branagh's version of 'Frankenstein' you feel sympathetic with the monster when he is born, as he is naked, clumsy, and unable to walk. Amniotic fluid is everywhere and we watch Frankenstein's monster slide and slip about. He appears vulnerable, like a baby. He can't control what he's doing and Frankenstein has to help him. This makes us pity him. This contradicts with the Whale version as we don't get to see the monster moving about, trying to touch or walk in the birth scene so we don't feel for him as much as he is still covered up and still practically lifeless. Also in the Branagh version when Frankenstein is inserting pins into the monster we see quick edits of the monster flitching and this makes us feel like he is in pain even though he is dead and we then feel sorry for him. ...read more.


This creates suspense because we want to know who it is or why he is looking up so often. Also included in both movies there is loud banging on doors before the experiment starts (diegetic sound) and as we know some people don't agree with what Frankenstein is doing that he should not let anyone know because it will get him in trouble, This creates panic and as we don't hate Frankenstein we don't want him to have anything bad happen to him. So we watch to make sure everything turns out okay for him. Although in the Whale version Frankenstein appears to have no emotion and he almost seems inhuman. So it is easier to hate him. In conclusion I would say that Branagh's movie made us feel more sympathy for Frankenstein's monster because when something bad happens to the monster you tend to put yourself in his place. The suspense is better too because you can connect better with the characters because you feel you know them and this is partly because you get to see them since they were children. Typical horror genre is seen more in the Whale version and this makes it seem more corny and unreal. This is partly because audience expectation is higher than it was back then and we now expect more from movies. So in conclusion the Branagh's version of 'Frankenstein' is better. ...read more.

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