Australian Council on Children and the Media

I Frankenstein

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Not recommended under 13; PG to 15 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for I Frankenstein
  • a review of I Frankenstein completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 March 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable
Children aged 13-15 Parental guidance recommended
Children over the age of 15 Suitable

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: I Frankenstein
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Contains sequences of intense fantasy action and violence throughout
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film I Frankenstein begins with a prologue depicting the creation of the Frankenstein monster. The year is 1795 and Victor Frankenstein has brought his creature/monster (Aaron Eckhart) to life through the use of arcane sciences. Out of revenge, the monster kills Dr. Frankenstein’s new bride and so Dr. Frankenstein vows to hunt down and kill the monster. After following the monster into the frozen wastelands of the North Pole Dr. Frankenstein freezes to death before he is able to kill him.

The Monster carries Dr. Frankenstein’s body back to the civilised world and attempts to bury the body in a churchyard grave. Before he is able to do so however, the monster is besieged by a horde of demons who want to capture both the monster and the Dr’s journal, which contains the secrets of his reanimation process. In the midst of the battle, a group of Gargoyles fly in and assist the monster in destroying the demons. The Gargoyles then grab hold of the monster and fly him back to their Cathedral stronghold where the monster is introduced to Leonore (Miranda Otto) queen of the Gargoyle Order. Leonore gives the monster his name calling him Adam and tells him an ancient war has been raging between the Gargoyles (descendants of archangels) and the demons for hundreds of years. Leonore offers Adam a place in the Gargoyle order, but Adam refuses isolating himself in seclusion while Queen Leonore secretes away Dr. Frankenstein’s journal for safe keeping.

Two hundred years later Adam has returned to the modern world where he is busy killing demons in the city streets. A demon prince called Naberius (Bill Nighy) has been busy for the past two hundred years planning to raise an army of demons by reanimating dead bodies. To achieve his goal, Naberius has employed the assistance of a brilliant reanimation scientist named Terra (Yvonne Strahovski), who is unaware that Naberius is a demon.

The remainder of the film focusses on Naberius pitting his demon army against the Gargoyles in an attempt to capture both Adam and Dr. Frankenstein’s journal while the Gargoyles are bent on stopping Naberius and his host of demons. In between the two warring groups is Adam and Terra, who have formed a special bond, the beginnings of a relationship with Adam as Terra’s protector.                    

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Immortality, the supernatural, good versus evil; creation

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film I Frankenstein contains intense fantasy action and violence (including the use of blades/weapons) throughout, some peril, infrequent depiction of blood and gruesome images, and multiple depictions of dead bodies and body parts.
 Examples include:

  • A man pushes a body wrapped in a sheet tied with chians from a bridge into the river below.
  • A man freezes to death.
  • Frankenstein’s monster kills the bride of Frankenstein (not shown) but a woman’s scream is heard and the dead body of a woman is shown lying in a bed with blood on her mouth.
  • A group of demons attack Frankenstein’s monster Adam. One demon pins Adam to the ground and tries to strangle him but Adam stabs the demon in the chest. The demon’s stab wound erupts in an explosion of red and yellow sparks and fire as though blood was spurting from the wound followed by the demon’s body exploding into a shower of yellow flames and glowing embers.
  • A group of sword wielding Gargoyles arrive and attack the demons. Gargoyles use swords to stab demons who then burst into a shower of sparks and flames.  
  • Frankenstein’s monster uses a sword to sever a demon’s arm.
  • A battle occurs between hundreds of demons and dozens of Gargoyles wielding bladed weapons. One Gargoyle uses an axe to cleave a demon in two with another demon having his head spliced open with an axe and numerous other demons having their bodies sliced open (no blood and gore is depicted).
  • A demon uses a sword to splice a gargoyle from head to pelvis with a beam of blue light escaping from the wound and shooting up into the air before the Gargoyle disintegrates.
  • Frankenstein’s monster punches a demon in the face/mouth with the demon spitting out saliva. The monster pushes the demon’s face into a bowl of holy water as if drowning him with the demon’s face catching on fire and the demon disintegrating.
  • Demons are shown using their claw-like fingernails to cut a bloody pentagram shape into the forehead of human victims.  
  • Adam and a demon fight with metal bar sticks. The demon picks Adam up and throws him against a concrete pillar before kicking him over a ledge of a multi-story building.
  • Adam falls, crashing through a number of steel beams before landing heavily on the ground.
  • In an attempt to coerce a scientist, a demon grabs him by his throat and crushes it (the sound of bone breaking is heard) killing him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are severa; scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Demons transform from human form into demons, with their faces burning away in a blaze of yellow sparks and flames to reveal savage looking faces that have greyish reptile textured skin, red glowing eyes, sharp pointy teeth and twin horns protruding from their foreheads.
  • A demon prince is depicted in a similar, but more gruesome manner with four horns protruding from his forehead.
  • Gargoyles transform from human to gargoyle form almost instantaneously. As Gargoyles, their skin has a stone-like texture, their faces have a monster/animal-like appearance with animal-like teeth, they have claws protruding from their fingertips and they wear cloaks that transform into large dragon-like wings enabling them fly.
  • Frankenstein’s monster has a scar covered face and body. In one scene, his naked torso is seen covered in large sutures looking like it has been cut up into pieces and stitched back together again.    
  • A demon is shown holding Frankenstein’s monster by the throat while uttering a satanic ritual causing a whirlwind of yellow fire (a demon spirit) to swirl around the monster. Then the demon enters the body of the monster through his eyes causing the monster to convulse and arch his back.
  • Thousands of other demon spirits, in the form of swirling firestorms, attempt to enter thousands of dead bodies hanging in cages.
  • The dead bodies are consumed by fire as the building they are stored in collapses and they are sucked into a bottomless pit, presumably leading to hell.    

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Frankenstein’s monster carries the dead man’s body over his shoulder and attempts to bury the body in a churchyard grave. 
  • A dead hairless rat is shown wired to a reanimation machine with a multitude of tubes and wires attached to its body. Electrical charges pass through the wires and the rat convulses and comes to life.
  • Thousands of dead bodies are shown suspended by chains in iron cages awaiting reanimation.  
  • The body of a dead person on a stretcher is seen with a large chest wound and it is said that some of the body’s organs are no good. In a laboratory organs, presumably human, are displayed in glass jars. 

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Some children in this age group could be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

•    Some younger teens might also be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Product placement

No product placement of concern.

Sexual references

The film contains no sexual references.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • One scene depicts Frankenstein’s monster Adam with a bare chest and a woman stitches up cuts on his bare back. In one scene a demon has a bare chest.
  • The queen of the Gargoyles is depicted with a naked torso and the outline of her stony breasts is evident. A couple of scenes depict women wearing low-cut tops that reveal some cleavage 

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • One bar scene depicts people holding glasses of presumably alcohol.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • One use of the word “shit” as an exclamation. Mild name calling such as godless creature, thing, animal.

In a nutshell

I Frankenstein is a science fiction/ horror film based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux.  The film’s maim focus is on action and special effects rather than character development and story. It is targeted to male adolescents and some adults will enjoy the action but may find it difficult to engage in the story.
 The main messages from this movie are
•Physical appearance does not make a person a monster; it is how a person acts and behaves that can make them a monster.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Selflessness: Initially Frankenstein’s monster Adam, battles with his identity and what he believes in. Over the course of two hundred years however, Adam changes from someone who cares only for himself and bent on revenge to someone who is capable of placing the well-being of others above his own. Adam places himself in danger to protect others; he’s capable of determining good from evil and is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good.     

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • In the film the Gargoyles suggest that God is responsible for creation and that it is both wrong and an abomination for man to attempt to create life. Parents may wish to discuss the concept of man or science’s role in the modern day creation of life such as cloning. What are the positive benefits of modern scientific processes such as cloning and stem cell development etc? Should society put boundaries in place on this type of scientific research or do boundaries inhibit scientific progress?    

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