Comparing the Creation Scene in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein and Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Version

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Comparing the Creation Scene in James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein and Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Version

There are many similarities and differences between James Whale’s 1931 and Kenneth Brannagh’s 1994 Frankenstein. They differ in the way that lighting, sound effects and camera shots are used to create tension and suspense for the audience. Some similarities that occur are the religious references which are present throughout the scenes. The purposes of the scenes are also the same, to create tension, suspense and to shock the audience; however they do this in different ways as the audiences the two films were intended for are very different. It would be easier to shock or scare a 1931 audience than one
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The shot is very dark, and gives a feeling of impending doom. The darkness of the shot could be trying to show that what is inside the castle is sinister or evil. On the other hand, the darkness could be trying to conceal parts of the scene; we are only given glimpses of the barren landscape, shown to us by the flashes of lightening. This may be being used in the same way that later in the scene Frankenstein conceals the monster from the audience by hiding it beneath a sheet, we are only given small glimpses of the monster when the covers are moved, however, even then we are not shown the monster in its entirety. The sound effects used are very simplistic, we can only hear the sound of thunder and lightening, this creates an intimidating atmosphere for the audience as people have a natural defensive fear of loud noises and death which can come from the lightening.

On the other hand, Kenneth Brannagh’s interpretation of Frankenstein uses lighting, camera and sound effects to create suspense and tension for the audience in a very different way. The scene opens with a half-extinguished candle casting a large flickering shadow on the wall. This creates tension for the audience as it builds up the audience’s anticipation of a dramatic event about to unfold; this is because they do not know who the shadow belongs to. The

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