DVD Review: I, Frankenstein

Now available on DVD (or streaming on Netflix) is the 2014 film I, Frankenstein. I, FrankensteinThe IMDB user reviews give this movie 5.2 stars out of 10. I was surprised, because the movie’s premise is the eternal struggle between gargoyles and demons, and who doesn’t love storylines like that?!?

Honestly, I thought 5.2 stars was generous. The movie was everything I expected it to be. For some reason, I enjoy watching cheesy apocalyptic movies showcasing the forces of good vs. the forces of evil. Since I was expecting a terrifically terrible movie, I was not disappointed!

– Affected acting.
– Poor writing.
– Ridiculous plot lines.

It’s everything you’d see in an MST3K movie. MST3K

Here are the basics of the movie:
– Demons exist and are trying to take over the world
– God created the order of the gargoyles to fight off the demons
– Frankenstein’s monster (named Adam in the movie) is a soulless, ageless creature roaming Earth for hundreds of years.
– The demons realize that the soulless Adam is the key to possessing the dead and bringing legions of demons to Earth to finally conquer everyone.
– Adam and the gargoyles fight off the demon horde.

Enough about the film-making elements – let’s talk about the film from a biblical perspective.

I’m always amused by these kinds of films because there is a segment of humanity that is greatly fascinated with the idea of angels and demons (true, the gargoyles aren’t exactly angels, but they’re supposed to fill the role of some kind of angelic protector-figure). The demons are your traditional Hollywood demons Demon Prince – they growl a lot and when they are dispatched go out with a burst of fire.

But there’s nothing quite like that in the Bible. In fact, the biblical accounts of demons never show us a visual image. The horned-headed, spikey-tailed, pitchfork-wielding demon of the screen is not biblical. The biblical image of possessed people is always of the human. While demons cause people to cut themselves and behave like lunatics, we never get to SEE them. When Jesus talks to demons, it is always through the voice of the possessed person.

So why our fascination with demons and angels?

I believe it’s because there is something in us that recognizes the reality of the spiritual realm even though the Western world denies it. In biblical studies and missiology (the study of missions) we talk a lot about worldview and how we perceive reality. The reality of the Western world tends to be one of rational thought. Angels, demons, and spiritual things are relegated to the heaven and hell but have little to do with human reality. It can be represented in this graphic of the “excluded middle.” The Excluded Middle

But there is no exclusion in the Bible. The spiritual world interacts with the human world. And Jesus takes dominion over it – in a powerful and final way. There is no power that counters God. The Bible is not about cosmic dualism, yin and yang. While there are evil forces, they are not equal to God’s good. God is superior and none can compare.

But we love to make movies about spiritual forces fighting tremendous battles for humanity. It can be disturbing to realize that the Bible DOES talk about demonic interaction with humanity. And the Bible never says that demons went away once the New Testament was completed. Yet the truth remains that God has fought the battle for us. Jesus conquered death, and because of his sacrifice we are assured of our final destination – the presence of God.

There is no power that rivals God’s.

So take movies like this for what they are: complete fiction.

And poorly done fiction at that.

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