Sample Film Review on Frankenstein and Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Frankenstein (1931) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

a). Describe one thematic similarity and one thematic difference between the two films.

Frankenstein (1931) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) are classified under some of the greatest horror films ever produced. Frankenstein is a monster film that is produced by Universal Pictures. On the other hand, Invasion of the Body Snatchers falls under the category of science fiction films whose producer is Walter Wanger. The two films; Frankestein (1931) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) have several thematic similarities as well as differences. Both films reflect the theme of a take-over by strange creatures. In Frankestein (1931), a scientist, Henry Frankestein locks up himself in a lab to create a monster. He later loses control over it and the monster rules him and the entire community. It even goes to the extent of hitting him unconscious and throwing a child into the lake to drown. In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, there is a take-over of the community by huge seed pods (Katrina, 60). The seedpods replicate and end up replacing humans.

However, the two films are also having their thematic differences. First, in the Frankenstein film, the monster is a huge being created by a young scientist while the victims are mainly the scientist, Frankenstein, the young girl, Maria, Fritz and the doctor. These are the people who came into direct contact with the monster with an aim of wanting to find out more about it. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers on the other hand has the entire human race as the victims while seed pods are classified as the monsters. The seed pods interfere with the normal human lives. For instance, in the film, the pod people interfere with a sexual encounter between Miles and Becky (Katrina, 61). In this film, horror comes from within the home. Becky’s father is a pod person who interferes with her life. In the Frankenstein film, horror comes from both within and without the community. The monster does not in any way have a relationship with the family (Picart et al., 112). However, Henry, the young scientist who belongs to the community is the bearer of the idea.

  1. b) Describe one formal similarity and one formal difference between the films.

Both films display exceptional camerawork. Despite their large budgets, they two film makers seem to have maintained tremendous production values. Their work includes fine sets, exceptional photography as well as salient special effects that keep the audience glued to the screen. In comparison to today’s standards, the camerawork displayed in the two films remains outstanding even in the difficult shots. In the Frankenstein film, James Whale uses lights to play around with people’s emotions. Lighting has been used to create mysterious moods while shadows have been used to keep the audience wondering about the contents of the dark. The director, however, uses lights in an odd way when the monster throws the innocent girl into the river. Instead of using it to reflect murder as a gloomy action, he uses bright light to reflect a sunny day, clear innocence of the young girl. The Invasion of Body Snatchers mostly uses dark and shadows instead of light to display the intensity of horror in the film (Nastasi, 1)






Works Cited

Picart et al. The Frankenstein Film Sourcebook. Portsmouth: Greenwood Publishing, 2001. Print.

Nastasi, Alison. Framed: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, November 11, 2010. Web.

Katrina, Mann. “You’re Next!”: Postwar Hegemony Besieged in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Cinema Journal, 44, Number 1, Fall 2004, pp. 49-68.