The Frankenstein Theory Andrew Weiner

The Frankenstein Theory Andrew Weiner
3
Yet another low budget, low concept found-footage thriller, The Frankenstein Theory nearly proves passable despite a distinct lack of chills, mostly thanks to a sarcastic film crew and a few idiosyncratic supporting characters. Andrew Weiner saves the audience the trouble of waiting a few minutes for the film to set itself up organically, insisting on a block of introductory text to inform viewers that a documentary film crew will be following one Professor Venkenheim on an expedition to the Arctic Circle, "in an effort to salvage his academic reputation and his family name." A sequence of moving pictures follows, confirming the veracity of this mission statement while also introducing the key players and elucidating the thesis of Venkenheim's theory. How efficient. Redundancy-triggered sarcasm aside, the film is surprisingly inoffensive for something so aimless. Chiefly, the performances come off as reasonably authentic for a crew comprised of jaded jobbers that get in over their heads by following a desperate idealist convinced that Frankenstein's creation is real and alive in Alaska. It's these performances that keep the rather toothless film from being a completely pointless endeavour. Without the personality clashes between the sceptical, unprepared crew and their no-nonsense guide, there wouldn't be much to enjoy besides the gorgeous, desolate landscape. Venkenheim's zealous musings aren't terribly interesting, resting on a fundamental faith in humanity and some research into a connection between migratory patterns and unexplained deaths. His foolhardy quest keeps the story moving, but its lack of narrative intrigue makes the whole project feel listless. If Weiner had embraced and built from the randomness of a few memorable early scenes — an interview with a cracked-out yokel who claims to have met the monster in the woods is the highlight of film — The Frankenstein Theory could possibly have injected enough oddity to retain interest while its cast is offed one by one. As it stands, once the film's animating sparks start dying, the fun is leeched out all the way to the humdrum finish line. No special features are included, presumably because it wasn't worth anyone's time to produce them, rather than an attempt to maintain a façade of false reality. (Anchor Bay)