2 Movies Like Lisa Frankenstein (2024)

Staff & contributors

Chasing the feel of watching Lisa Frankenstein ? Here are the movies we recommend you watch right after.

Written by Diablo Cody (Jennifer’s Body) and directed by Zelda Williams (daughter of the late Robin Williams), Lisa Frankenstein is a playful, funny, and stylish take on ‘80s horror and coming-of-age romcoms. Unfortunately, those traits alone are not enough to give the film the weight it needs to stand the test of time. There’s a clumsiness to the direction that, ironically enough, makes the film seem like parts lousily stitched together, instead of a coherent whole. There are pauses that are too long, transitions that feel off, and questions left unanswered. Why does it feel natural for Lisa to kill people? Was she close to her mom? What does her relationship with The Creature indicate, apart from the trite and obvious “outcasts must stick together”? Lisa Frankenstein doesn’t have to answer all these to be a good film, but when things are shallowly rendered, they become hard to ignore. It prioritizes pulpy gimmicks and visual gags that are admittedly fun to watch, but leaves behind equally important matters that flesh out Lisa as a person.

The concepts of roads not taken and domino effects have received plenty of cinematic attention in their showier forms by way of multiverse comic book movies and dimension-hopping films like Everything Everywhere All At Once. But, though there’s no hint of sci-fi in Past Lives, Celine Song’s gentle film can count itself as one of the best treatments of that universe-spawning question: “what if?”

When her family moves from Seoul to Canada, teenage Na Young bids a loaded farewell to classmate Hae Sung and changes her name to Nora. Years later, they reconnect online and discover the spark still burns between them. This is no idealistic romance, though: Past Lives is told with sober candor. Song acknowledges real obstacles standing in the way of a relationship between the two — those pragmatic (distance) and, more painfully, personal (evolving personalities, American husbands).

Those two threads — unrealized romance and the transmutation of identity that so often takes place after migrating — are expertly entwined in Past Lives to produce a sublime, aching meditation on memory and time, practical love and idealistic romance, and all the complex contradictions that exist in between. That Song communicates so much and so delicately in only her first film makes Past Lives all the more stunning.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: An Min-yeong, An Min-young, Chang Ki-ha, Chase Sui Wonders, Choi Won-young, Emily Cass McDonnell, Federico Rodriguez, Greta Lee, Hwang Seung-eon, Isaac Powell, Jack Alberts, Jane Yubin Kim, Jay Karales, John Magaro, Jojo T. Gibbs, Kristen Sieh, Moon Seung-a, Moon Seung-ah, Park Jun-hyuk, Seo Yeon-woo, Shin Hee-cheol, Teo Yoo, Yim Seung-min, Yoon Ji-hye

Director: Celine Song

Rating: PG-13

With the rise of fascism globally, and concerns about an upcoming world war, depictions of World War II have become popular, with the most notable being Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Einstein and the Bomb instead takes a look at the prominent scientist, whose theory of relativity made the atomic bomb possible, who had a personal stake in ensuring the Nazis were defeated, but who also had to reckon with the horrific consequences in pursuing the West’s promises of peace. It’s a needed perspective, and director Anthony Philipson pulls from Einstein’s very words, his own ideas about the society at the time eerily echoing the concerns about today’s society. However, there’s something off about the way these ideas are presented, as it feels like the film was less interested in Einstein as a man, and more interested in using him as a spokesperson, using his image to cry over today’s conflicts.

Genre: Documentary, Drama

Actor: Adolf Hitler, Aidan McArdle, Albert Einstein, Andrew Havill, Gethin Alderman, Helena Westerman, James Musgrave, Jonathan Rhodes, Leo Ashizawa, Rachel Barry, Simon Markey, Toby Longworth

Director: Anthony Philipson