VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN (2015) Reviews and overview

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‘Meet your makers’

Victor Frankenstein is a 2015 American science fiction horror film based on contemporary adaptations of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein directed by Paul McGuigan and written by Max Landis.

The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman in Black; Horns) as the hunchback Igor and James McAvoy (TranceX-Men: Days of Future Past) as the scientist Victor Frankenstein. It also features Spencer Wilding, Christian Wolf-La’Moy and Mark Gatiss.

Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man who created the legend we know today…


Victor Frankenstein plays like a genre movie from the classic Hammer era, taking its subject matter seriously, yet still having a good time as it delivers the modern-day action excesses that are expected.” Peter Martin, Twitch

“Director Paul McGuigan juggles action sequences, broody Gothic imagery and jokey meta-jabs in a vain attempt to raise the story from the dead. Stars James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, though game, struggle to breathe life into the proceedings, their characters trapped in a no-man’s-land between Grand Guignol and camp.” Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“The action scenes, all contained on dimly lit sets, show no visual imagination whatsoever. By the end, in which life-giving white lightning spasmodically spurts all over the frame, it’s fair to say that every other Frankenstein film you’ve seen, even the parodies, have had more flair than this.” Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

“Because everything is too busy, too loud, too determined to do for Frankenstein what Guy Ritchie (big screen) and Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (small screen) have done for Sherlock Holmes. Director Paul McGuigan helmed four episodes of BBC’s Sherlock but here the grafts don’t quite take. The result is far from monstrous but it’s hardly divine, either.” Jamie Graham, Games Radar


“It has a wide range of elements: slapstick, gothic horror, romance, meta in-jokes, action, and fiery spectacle. But it stitches them all together into a loose, shambling creation that feels like it was never entirely meant to live. Maybe there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.” Tasha Robinson, The Verge

” …features some fun production design and a performance of undiluted bug-eyed flamboyance from James McAvoy as the titular pale student of unhallowed arts, but its reservoirs of energy and ingenuity run dry long before the finale, leaving the film to lumber to its half-hearted conclusion.” Andrew Barker, Variety

Victor Frankenstein never figures out whether it wants to be a comedy, a dramatic retelling of a horrific tale or a thriller, and alternates frequently between all three scenarios without giving enough time to properly establish the tone. Instead, Landis and director Paul McGuigan treat each like a sample serving, just barely giving a taste of what the film could have been…” Julia Alexander, Polygon 

Cast and characters:

  • James McAvoy as Doctor Victor Frankenstein
  • Daniel Radcliffe as Igor Straussman
  • Jessica Brown Findlay as Lorelei
  • Andrew Scott as Inspector Roderick Turpin
  • Charles Dance as Baron Frankenstein
  • Freddie Fox as Finnegan
  • Mark Gatiss as Dettweiler
  • Callum Turner as Alistair
  • Daniel Mays as Barnaby
  • Spencer Wilding and Guillaume Delaunay as Frankenstein’s monster aka “Prometheus”
  • Bronson Webb as Rafferty

Filming locations:

Filming mostly took place in England in 2014, with stage filming at Longcross and Twickenham Film Studios and location shooting at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent.

Box office:

The film grossed $2.4 million in its opening weekend and $3.4 million over its first five days, breaking the record set by Won’t Back Down for the lowest opening gross in over 2,500 theaters until Friend Request in 2017.

Victor Frankenstein grossed $5.8 million in North America and $28.5 million in other territories for a total of $34.2 million, against a budget of $40 million.


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