It’s Mama Frankenstein as fangirl in this soporific account of what led the titular character (Elle Fanning) to pen the greatest monster novel in all creation. Between the wicked stepmother, the princely hero (Douglas Booth, playing the radical poet Percy Shelley as an 18th-century Conrad Birdie), and sets that look like a stroll down Main Street, USA, I was shocked at the absence of a Disney logo at the picture’s outset. Maisie Williams and Bel Powley appear in supporting roles here, and either would have brought more color to the lead role than the kewpie doll charms and pouty-lipped delivery that emanate from our once-again-miscast star. A romantic trip to Mary’s mother’s graveside did manage to bring tears to my eyes, what with all the laughing, as did a happenstance encounter between Percy and his pregnant ex. As it stands, this monstrously inept creation is more terrifying than any scenario the author conjured up. The shits just keep on coming from director Haifaa Al-Mansour, whose Wadjda topped my ten-worst list the year it came out.
Length: 2 hours, 1 minute