(Review originally written at 14 November 2005)

This movie truly surpassed my expectations. It's the fifth of the Hammer Frankenstein films and was followed by two more Frankenstein movies. Even though there aren't an awful lot of original elements in the movie, it still is better than the average Hammer movie.

No, the story certainly isn't the strongest element of this movie. It's all very average and typical stuff like you would expect in a Frankenstein movie and it all is quite silly. Still, legendary horror director Terence Fisher knows how to make the story interesting. There are some very well constructed sequences in the movie that actually succeed in becoming tense at times, such as when the police search the house for Dr. Brandt. The tension is build up well and the scene as a whole works very successful.

But it of course is also the acting that carries this movie. Peter Cushing once again plays Baron Frankenstein. Cushing gives one of the better performances out of his Hammer movie career and is truly excellent in his role. In this movie Baron Frankenstein is an even more sadistic person. He also cold-heartedly kills and even rapes in this movie. Truly one of the most sinister performances of the Baron Frankenstein character. Some comic relief comes from the character played by Thorley Walters. He plays a typical comical Terence Fisher character, which are often portrayed in his movies, such as in "The Phantom of the Opera" (1962).

Also surprising good was the musical score by Oscar winner James Bernard, who scored lots of Hammer movies. It's funny that he won his only Oscar for his only written movie, "Seven Days to Noon" from 1950.

Standard Hammer horror story but an excellent execution of it all, by both cast and crew. For the Hammer movie fans, a definite must see.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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