Frances Stein [INDIE FILM REVIEW]

Frances Stein Main PosterDirector: PJ Woodside
Production Company: Big Biting Pig Productions
Genre: Thriller
One Sentence Synopsis: Female mad scientist has plans for ex-husband.
Series: Standalone
Release Date: October 17, 2015
Running Time: 88 min
Website: Click Here
Trailer: Click Here
Reviewed by: Reverend Leviathan
Final Score: 4.5 Moons (out of 5)

Frances Stein is a brilliant scientist gone mad for all the right reasons — she’s lost her marriage, her job and her reputation.  Now she has plans for her ex-husband and his new wife that will mess with their minds.  Literally.

Story

Brilliant Moon Award“I am not a monster.  I am a scientist.” 

We begin with these words as we go through memories of Dr. Frances Stein (PJ Woodside), using her method of memory retrieval that she developed.  Frances Stein was working on this project when her own husband Patrick (Scott Cummings) shut her down.  Their marriage shatters, he ends up with a new girl – Jayne (Jessica Leonard) – and she’s ready for revenge.  What better way to exact revenge than hooking Jayne up to her memory retrieval machine and try to erase the memories and implant her own?

Frances Stein’s lab assistant Avery Newman (Cody Rogers) is interrogated after she has committed a horrible act.  His testimony serves as the framework of the film leading up to the climax.  We discover that there’s more than what meets the eye as Avery seems to have an unhealthy obsession with his former boss.  Is he protecting any information that he has about her?  What really became of Jayne?  Knowledge is power, and memories serve as the conductor for this mad scientist’s machine that may be the death of her…

The story contains many unexpected twists and turns that keep the suspense coming.  I was on the edge of my seat as I waited to see what would become of the doctor’s victims (Jayne, Patrick, even herself).  A very good and dark romanticism flows throughout with very powerful emotions, all leading up to an ending that I believe no one could have predicted.

Presentation

PJ Woodside gives a wonderful performance as the film’s villain/heroine.  She doesn’t overdo the crazy aspect of the character, and her relationship with the lab assistant sort of echoes the relationship of Frankenstein and Igor.  Scott Cummings added a lot of emotion as her former husband and Jessica Leonard plays a very good emotional victim.  All the actors gave top notch performances.

I really liked the effect of watching the memories play on a monitor when people were hooked up to the machine.  The glitches and static seemed to imply the memories not being perfectly remembered, or the machine not being perfect.  Made it seem a little more realistic so to speak.

The score in the movie, especially a certain piano piece, was very good.  Couldn’t have asked for different music to match the darkness and romance.  Good cinematography  and lighting throughout the film, and the angles used worked well with the shots.

Patrick (Scott Cummings) after being bitch-slapped by Dr. Frances Stein (PJ Woodside).

Patrick (Scott Cummings) after being bitch-slapped by Dr. Frances Stein (PJ Woodside).

Gothic Fit

I invite Gothic viewers to flock to this film!  The romanticism that encompasses the story is very appealing.  The elements of horror and suspense, lost love and revenge, are all mixed in with a mad scientist story, leading up to one of the most twisted, dark romantic conclusions I’ve ever seen in the independent films I’ve reviewed.

Dr. Frances Stein looking upon her lab.

Dr. Frances Stein looking upon her lab.

Closing Thoughts

Frances Stein is a new mad scientist film that’s thrilling, suspenseful, romantic and sure to please the Gothic audience!

Story: 4.0 Moons
Presentation: 3.5 Moons
Gothic Fit: 5.0 Moons
Final Score (not an average): 4.5 Moons (out of 5)

Score: Four point five moons

Author: Reverend Leviathan

Reverend Leviathan is the Music & Media Editor at DarkestGoth Magazine. He has been part of the Gothic community since his high school years. He released an album in 2008 entitled "Eden's Graveyard" and has also self-published a book, Gothlic: The Testimony of a Catholic Goth. He specializes in music (Goth, ambient, industrial, horror punk and doom metal) and independent films. You can follow him at Facebook.com/revleviathan7. If you have questions about having your music or media reviewed or featured at DarkestGoth, you can email Reverend Leviathan directly. (Not all music or media will be eligible for coverage by DGM, due to its style or the current knowledge base of DGM staff. If your media is accepted, we are currently estimating a 90-120 day turnaround for reviews and/or other coverage, so please plan requests accordingly.)

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