Review Detail

9.7 2 10
frankenraymix_front
FanFix November 24, 2023 641
(Updated: December 09, 2023)
Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
8.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
James Whale's Frankenstein is easily one of the best (if not the best) examples of classic Universal Horror, elevated considerably by Karloff's excellent performance. The theatrical cut holds up relatively well for the time, but the majority of Ray's tweaks are a welcome change for the better. Pacing is great, and that for me is one of the main draws. My main qualm is with some of the audio replacement. Checking through the cutlist, it looks like there were a bunch of audio changes that I didn't notice and so were clearly well integrated. But some were a bit off, namely:

- While the added thunder foley does generally fit, it needs an EQ tweak to keep it from drowning out the dialogue at points. It also sounds like it hiccups at 18:31
- 39:17 - the "neck snap" sounds like someone stepping on a crisp, and is quite dry and forward in the mix. It doesn't sound like a neck snap or an effect that would be of the time. I would choose a different sound, dull it significantly and use some (very) subtle room reverb to help it sit better.
- 48:05 - I couldn't see this on the cutlist, so maybe it's in the original film? The growl before Frankenstein reacts realising the monster is nearby is pretty poor. If it is in the original, I'd suggest removing it and replacing it with another bit of karlof audio from elsewhere in the film (it too is very up front and sounds as though it's right in front of the camera)
- 59:30ish - the flame effects just don't sit in the mix very well and sound more like a campfire than a burning windmill to me. I don't really think extra foley is needed here, but if it is to be added it needs to blend in better with the film audio.

Lastly, two audio hiccups. I know that Ray fixed some inherent in the original film, so these may not be his doing:

- 42:02
- 59:52

There were a couple of odd visual moments as well, but I put them down to goofs with the source.

Audio nitpicks aside, this is a solid replacement for the original. I DO wish Ray would start doing subtitles for his edits though (hint hint hint), especially as his edits seem designed to replace theatrical cuts and kind of act as "special editions" of sorts. It's generally good to have them for old muffled audio I think, but for me it's also valuable because it means I can view the edits with my brother (who has hearing trouble).

Looking forward to Bride (which - hot take - is NOT my favourite).

Scrib out.

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