The legacy something leaves doesn't necessarily depend on the popularity of the thing at the time, but the effect it has on the generations that follow. In the case of novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, it's been two hundred years since its release, and the knowledge and popularity of the story is possibly bigger than ever. So much so, that we are still seeing new, modernized tellings based on the novel - and fresh to streaming is DEPRAVED; written and directed by Larry Fessenden, it brings the story of a laboratory experiment coming to life into the 21st century. Fessenden enlisted the help of David Call and Joshua Leonard to star in the modern telling of Frankenstein, and this was a movie that I knew was going to be fantastic from the trailer. So how does a modernized telling of the classic story fare? I'm not gonna beat around the bush: Depraved blew me the fuck away, in a way I really was not expecting. This movie surpassed any hopes I had of it being good, and it went straight into the exceptionally awesome category. Honestly, this movie settled so well with me, I feel comfortable enough to say it is one of the best films I've seen in all of 2019. Yeah, it's that fucking awesome.
Alex is a young, fresh out of college dude who is in the process of moving in with his girlfriend. After a brief disagreement, Alex leaves her apartment and begins walking home when he is attacked out on the city streets with a knife. Upon waking up, "Alex" stumbles out of the bed and over to a mirror - and it is then that you'll learn that this Alex isn't the Alex from the previous scene. This Alex is the sum of various body parts surgically put together by Henry - a former army medic who is working to try and essentially reverse death. Only this Alex isn't Alex at all - while it has his brain (and various memories that go along with it), it appears every limb is from a different doner, which is apparent by all of the stiches holding the body together. Henry is now responsible for this new old life - and that includes teaching him motor skills, etiquette, and puzzle solving. And while Henry's intentions seem so pure, there's always a shadow lingering behind with other intentions besides creating new life; even if that means exploiting it. The new creation - the Frankenstein they named Adam - must find his new place in the world, while subconsciously being reminded of his old one through flashback memories.
Depraved runs just about two hours, and while the first hour may be relatively calm and a fun re-telling of the classic story - don't fucking blink. Because before you know it, this film takes a dark, twisted turn and suddenly it's running down a very different path than it was even five minutes before. The second half of the movie is where a lot of the chaos, action, and honestly just sadness gets thrusted right down your throat before you even realized what happened to you. While I really liked what the first half of the film has to offer, it's the second half that really puts this movie over the edge of just being good and making it great. It has this really excellent way of putting you inside the mind of Adam - who represents Frankenstein; inside his thoughts, his feelings, his actions. It's a truly wicked, dark, and yet intriguing ride Depraved sends you down, and at the end there's a good chance you're going to be left feeling drained and even bummed out. But it's an excellent adventure, through and through. While David Call and Joshua Leonard both had awesome on screen time, it's Alex Breaux as Adam that will really shake you and capture your attention throughout the film. The way he carries himself from his body movements to facial expressions is totally haunting, and his eerie interactions definitely set a tone horror fans will love.
This movie is definitely added to my recommendation list, especially being so close to Halloween - I think it's an excellent addition to any horror playlist you may be putting together this season. The streaming price I paid was $6.99, and while that's usually a pretty high price point to rent, Depraved undoubtedly is worth every penny you pay for it. If you're not watching the classic Frankenstein film this Halloween, make time to watch Depraved; you'll thank me later for it.