Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween Hootenanny - First Impressions: Frankenweenie (Tim Burton, 2012)

Following yesterday's movie, Frankenhooker, with this rather more family orientated affair (to say the least), feels both completely bizarre and oddly appropriate all at once. Featuring another modern day Frankenstein on a mad mission to resurrect a tragically lost loved one (this time a boy and his dog), this sees Tim Burton going somewhat full circle in terms of his career thus far, and remaking one of his own works. 

Originally a short film made in 1984 that would get Burton fired by the very studio who would also go on to produce this remake, i.e. Disney, this feature length reworking of the same story is, like its progenitor, an extended homage to Frankenstein and classic horror cinema in general, which is probably stating the obvious this being a Tim Burton film. 

Like many of the director's other films, this was clearly a labour of love for everyone who had a hand (quite literally) in crafting the characters and the world they inhabit... the level of attention to detail here makes this fairly self-evident. And obviously it wouldn't be a Burton film without a few familiar faces (or voices in this case) to populate the movie. There's no Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter for a change, but we do have several other performers who've worked with the director before, such as Catherine O'Hara, Martin Landau and Winona Ryder, who are all perfectly cast in their respective roles. And on musical duties, who else but that main Burton repeat offender (so to speak), Danny Elfman, who turns in a characteristically gothic, romantic score.

All of this is essentially a long winded way of saying that if you enjoy Tim Burton's movies, you really can't go wrong here... and like Dark Shadows (also from last year), this sees the director on pretty much top form. There's nothing particularly surprising to be found here... you really are getting exactly what it says on the tin, but this is not a bad thing by any means, as I really enjoyed this, even if I can't see myself returning to it over and over. But if you're after a good spooky family film to put on during this Halloween season, then I'd highly recommend it.

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