"I, Fraknenstein" is a supernatural action flick that should appeal to teens. It stars Aaron Eckhart as Dr. Frankenstein's rather hunky creation (this is no flat-topped, green monster) –- who gets his revenge on his master and then roams the Earth for 200 years. As a soulless being, he has managed to attract the attention of two sets of immortals: the Gargoyle Order (a group of angel-descended warriors who protect mankind from demons) led by gargoyle queen Leonore (Miranda Otto) and the demons, led my demonic prince Naberius (Bill Nighy). Like "The Legend of Hercules 3D," the movie seems set up for sequels, but given that it's a January release, that seems unlikely.
There's no question that this is a horror movie, but if you're considering letting your tween/teen see "I, Frankenstein," keep reading.
1. What does your kid know about Frankenstein? You don't really need to know anything about "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly to see this movie. There's a lot of exposition thanks to the opening narration and Frankenstein's constant need to figure out who he is and why Frankenstein created him. It does help to have a basic understanding of Frankenstein's origins, so if your teen has seen another version of "Frankenstein" (or read the book for school), then they should know exactly what's going on and be able to detect the differences between the original "Frankenstein" story and the "I, Frankenstein" plot.
2. How sensitive is your teen to supernatural frights? Every kid -- and that includes teens -- is different when it comes to horror: some love spooky tales and playing games that involve conjuring spirits like Bloody Mary or asking ghosts questions on Ouija boards. But slumber party games aside, some kids aren't comfortable with horror themes, particularly if they involve the supernatural. Angel versus demon stories aren't for everyone, and they may freak out some sensitive tweens or teens who aren't OK with people transforming into hell spawn or gargoyles.
3. Do you worry about sex/language? There's actually not much of either in this movie. Although there is an occasional "s--t" here or there, neither the gargoyles nor the demons do much cursing. There is one slightly sexually-charged scene when Eckhart's injured Frankenstein takes off his shirt to reveal an impeccable six pack, and then Yvonne Strahovski (as a lovely blond scientist) sutures him up while obviously admiring his torso. So there's not much sex or language to worry about in this supernatural thriller.
4. Who will enjoy the movie most? It's safe to say that audiences who are fans of supernatural horror or adventure like "Underworld" or "Hellboy" or "Legion" are most likely to want to see the movie, although it's unclear whether they'll appreciate it. From anecdotal evidence, it seems like this is your typical teen boy movie with little to offer anyone looking for a movie that makes them think or laugh or cry. It's pretty much what you'd expect from a January release: a loud and effects-heavy horror thriller. If you have teens who are into the genre, this will be what they want to see this weekend.
5. What are critics saying about "I, Frankenstein"? Reviews for "I, Frankenstein" are decidedly negative; on Rotten Tomatoes it currently has a "rotten" 0 percent (as of Friday afternoon), with a Metascore of 16 on Metacritic. Keep in mind that the movie didn't even screen for critics, so it's not as if the studio expected decent reviews. Here's what some critics had to say: "The humorless, generic, and chatty Frankenstein served up here makes you wonder if the good doctor, in all his patching-together of parts, didn't forget the brains," notes Roger Moore, Movie Nation. Not everyone was as generous: "Utterly witless, listless, sparkless and senseless, this supernatural actioner makes one long for the comparative sophistication of the conceptually identical "Underworld" franchise (with which it shares producers and a writer)," writes Andrew Barker, Variety.