Lisa Frankenstein Trailer Is a Bloody, Neon Romp

Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC

Is 2024 the year of the monster? It sure seems that way. Between Robert Eggers’ version of Nosferatu, an untitled Universal Monster movie, a Godzilla and King Kong face-off, and plenty more films on the horizon, there seems to be something for every type of monster-lover. Those of use whose favorite monster is a teenage girl who was possessed by an indie rock band’s sacrifice gone wrong back in 2009 may never get the sequel to Jennifer’s Body that we so deeply desire. However, 2024 is bringing us the next best thing: a new Diablo Cody horror comedy.

Lisa Frankenstein is an 80s-set retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lisa (Kathryn Newton) has the totally normal hobby of tending to the grave of a long deceased stranger. She grows to develop a crush on him based on the detailed stone bust that stands above his gravestone. Seemingly through the power of a lightning strike, this mysterious stranger has been brought back to life. At this point in the film’s life cycle, we only know this reanimated figure as The Creature (Cole Sprouse). The trailer shows that despite their rocky introduction to one another, they find a commonality: hurting bad people.

The Creature and Lisa sit in bed together
Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC

In bold neon text, Lisa Frankenstein‘s trailer proudly proclaims that this is a “coming of rage story.” In a sense all of Cody’s films could fall under that umbrella. There’s a lot of rage in Jennifer’s Body, Juno, Tully, and Young Adult. Though, with the exception of Jennifer’s Body, Lisa Frankenstein looks to be a fairly bloody story about growing up. Unlike Jennifer’s Body, however, this film is a bombastic, pastel, neon wonderland. The best, sugar-coated version of the 80s is Lisa Frankenstein‘s playground and it doesn’t shy away from big hair, leotards, and finger-less gloves. This is not Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Lisa Frankenstein is directed by Zelda Williams, a name that should sound familiar. Williams is the daughter of the beloved Robin Williams. She got her start acting alongside her father in David Duchovny’s directorial debut where she played a young Anton Yelchin’s love interest. Williams has starred in television shows like Jane the Virgin, Teen Wolf, The Legend of Korra, and more. She’s also appeared in movies, music videos, and done voice acting for video games. Lisa Frankenstein will mark her debut feature film.

The Creature and Lisa sit on the edge of a tanning bed
Credit: Michele K. Short / © 2024 FOCUS FEATURES LLC

It’s a thrill to see Newton front and center again of a horror-comedy flick. Even when the material let her down, she was hilarious in Freaky. By the looks of it, Lisa Frankenstein will be a teen romance of some kind, another genre Newton has already proved herself in. Sprouse seems to have a mostly silent role in this film. He doesn’t utter a single word throughout the trailer, just a lot of grunts and gestures. The real surprise star of the trailer is Carla Gugino. She’s most recently been seen in Mike Flanagan‘s various Netflix miniseries. Now, she’s wearing a leotard, chunky headphones, and a sweatband and vowing revenge.

When in Rome’s sweeping, soaring power ballad “The Promise” pulses over the technicolor scenes on display. By all accounts, Lisa Frankenstein is shaping up to be something very interesting. All of the ingredients sound good on their own and the trailer is making it look like they could combine into something nostalgic and brand new all at once. Much like Bottoms last year was an ode to the gloriously terrible teen movies of the early-2000s, Lisa Frankenstein sets its sights on mixing the slasher and John Hughes comedies of the 80s. And it might be a combination that really works?

Directed by Zelda Williams, written by Diablo Cody, and starring Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Henry Eikenberry, Joe Chrest and Carla Gugino, Lisa Frankenstein will be released in theaters on February 9th.

Written by Tina Kakadelis

News Editor for Film Obsessive. Movie and pop culture writer. Seen a lot of movies, got a lot of opinions. Let's get Carey Mulligan her Oscar.

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