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Movie Review: 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' (1994)

MPAA Rating: R

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EW's GRADE
B

Details Rated: R; Genres: Horror, Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Helena Bonham Carter, Kenneth Branagh, Robert De Niro and Tom Hulce

Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, this new version has fine, perverse touches, but in the end it's strangely listless. Robert De Niro's creature is a haunting image. Head shaved, with barbed-wire stitches curlicued across his face, he lumbers through the snow like a deranged monk. But then, as he prepares to confront Frankenstein (Branagh), the ''father'' who created and abandoned him, something unexpected happens: The dramatic life begins to seep out of the movie. The key problem is Branagh's own performance. As Frankenstein, he's too wholesome — a kind of fervid workaholic yuppie who never seems truly possessed of a dark side. B

Originally posted Nov 11, 1994 Published in issue #248 Nov 11, 1994 Order article reprints