Directed by Andrew Weiner, and starring Kris Lemche and Heather Stephens, this monster movie was a little too much movie, not enough monster for my taste.
The movie begins with a camera crew interviewing Jonathan Venkenhein, a young professor and great-great-great-great grandson of Johan Venkenhein, who he claims was the real life Dr. Frankenstein. He provides letters, photographs, and sketches from his family archives as evidence that Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was not a work of fiction, but based on his grandfather’s actual successful experiments. Jonathan’s girlfriend, Annie, scolds the camera crew for encouraging him, telling them that he’s recently been suspended from the university he teaches at for talking about Frankenstein’s monster so often.
Jonathan and the crew set off to the Arctic Circle, the spot that Jonathan claims is where the monster now resides. They meet a meth head who had contacted Jonathan about having had an encounter with the monster. He relays his story and Vicky Stephens, the producer of the crew, tells the guy that he had encountered Frankenstein’s monster. The meth head thinks they’re making fun of him and pulls a gun on the crew. They quickly leave, and this is the most exciting moment of the film.
Seriously, I even kept pausing it to see how much time had passed in the film because nothing was happening. They hear wolves howling, they argue with their intimidating wilderness guide Karl, their snowmobiles get destroyed but other than that nothing is happening. I had hope at one point when one of the cameramen is filming the edge of the woods and we see a glimpse of a giant thing moving along the tree line. It was spooky, and seemed to suggest that the tone of the movie was finally going to get scary. Nope!
After the snowmobile incident, wilderness Karl decides that it must just be some crazy guy messing with them. So he sets off to take care of him. After being gone for four hours, two of the cameramen decide to take their one remaining snowmobile to find him. No surprise, Karl is dead. There isn’t much build up, and they only show a quick shot of Karl laying with his eyes open and some blood around his head in the snow. It was more reminiscent of one of those crime scene shows that a horror movie.
Things start to move a little from there, once they return to tell everyone that Karl is dead, they all realize they have no idea how to get back to civilization. Cameraman Luke sets out on the snowmobile to find the road, Vicky says something about him having a good sense of direction and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. It was the laziest, “dude’s gonna die,” set up I’ve seen in a while.
More nothingness happens and they decide to go find Luke. Guess what? He’s dead! The crew member who happened to find him immediately drops the camera and we hear crunching and see him get dragged away. The remaining three (Jonathan, Vicky, and one crew member) see the blood and take off back to their cabin. They come upon the creature ransacking the cabin (just the sound, we don’t get to see it, Jonathan tells them to stay quiet and that they need to get away, but he wants to confront the creature. Off camera, we hear Jonathan talking to the creature, and Vicky and remaining crew guy are supposed to take this as their chance to get away by walking, not running, as per Jonathan’s instructions. Predictably, crew member freaks out and runs off, we hear screaming, crunching, and squishing. Meanwhile, Vicky drops the camera and we only see snow for a second. Jonathan picks up the camera and finds Vicky and they return to the cabin.
Vicky and Jonathan are in the cabin when they hear the monster outside. Jonathan instructs Vicky to stay quiet while he talks to the creature again. We can only see Vicky sitting in the cabin, and hear Jonathan off screen. He asks the monster if he can touch him, of course this is followed by horrific screams, and more crunching, and squishing sounds. Monster breaks into the cabin, he basically looks like a guy wearing a Davy Crockett costume, knocks out Vicky, and takes her away.
It seems that they went for more realism, which I get, but in the end realism killed any sort of tension or shock. I can honestly say this is the most anti-climactic monster movie I’ve ever seen. The story had a lot of potential and I had high hopes, but the execution was awful.