Sci-Fi What Genre Is Frankenstein?

What Genre Is Frankenstein?


  • Total voters
    35

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
#23
Kev serious Bro. Alien could have been located in a decaying castle on the Scottish moors, it's a monster movie with admittedly an iconic creature. A lot of horror has SciFi trappings to get around various plot points, but doesn't venture down that path overly.
 
Joined
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#24
It's a Gothic novel containing the genesis of what we would now consider modern science fiction. A lot of science fiction has to do with the speculation [and fear] of where technology could take us and how adversely it might affect us, so qualities of horror in science fiction have always made sense to me. Excepting the optimism of Verne, quite a few of the very early science fiction stories were cautionary tales.

And the Gothic was a reaction to the rationality of the Enlightenment period anyway, so much of it had to do with moving back to nature and the dark, irrational recesses of the mind. And what lurks in the dark spaces of the mind but terror, right? Frankenstein fits this mould for me - more than anything, it uses its current [and speculative] understanding of science to speak of the hubris of man in a terrifying way.

So, science fiction.

Next you lot will be claiming Alien is a Scifi movie cause it has space travel and stuff (y)
Alien is definitely science fiction, but also horrific! If I were organising DVDs, I'd put it into the science fiction category. It's not just the fact about being set in space, but there are also other factors like:

a) huge corporations mining in other systems,
b) hypothetical cryogenic techniques,
c) artificial intelligences (how well the cyborgs may have passed the Turing Test is never indicated),
d) an M-class planet/moon needing only minimal terraforming
e) an advanced (albeit derelict) ship of an alien, sapient species
f) and a Xenomorph alien with biology distinctly separate from Earth-based lifeforms.

So, it's not just that it's set in space, it is very, very distinctly speculative in nature (even if the science isn't explained to any rigorous standard). But yeah, the narrative format fits the horror mould to a t.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#25
If I were organising DVDs
Actually, this topic was generated from my decision to put my Frankenstein collection under the Science Fiction section of my archives.
Alien has always been under science fiction.

Another one that has large debate on IMdb is Jaws
I have that under Animals>Animal Attack>Shark Movies>Jaws Series

For me, Monsters have their own Category. I used to put them under horror but some monsters are scifi in nature. I now have them as Monsters>Giant Monsters and Monsters>Other Than Giant. Alien monsters are in the Other cat unless they are giant. When there is a monster series like Alien I put it under SciFi because there is a lot of Science Fiction in their stories. Tremors is under Monsters>Other>Tremors Series

I also have Horror subdivided under Horror>Demons|Ghosts|Other|Werewolves|Vampires|Zombies
In Horror>Zombies I have Horror>Zombies>Infected|Ghouls|Other
 
Joined
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#26
Actually, this topic was generated from my decision to put my Frankenstein collection under the Science Fiction section of my archives.
Alien has always been under science fiction.

Another one that has large debate on IMdb is Jaws
I have that under Animals>Animal Attack>Shark Movies>Jaws Series

For me, Monsters have their own Category. I used to put them under horror but some monsters are scifi in nature. I now have them as Monsters>Giant Monsters and Monsters>Other Than Giant. Alien monsters are in the Other cat unless they are giant. When there is a monster series like Alien I put it under SciFi because there is a lot of Science Fiction in their stories. Tremors is under Monsters>Other>Tremors Series

I also have Horror subdivided under Horror>Demons|Ghosts|Other|Werewolves|Vampires|Zombies
In Horror>Zombies I have Horror>Zombies>Infected|Ghouls|Other
Wow, you must have a LOT of DVDs if you need to get into so many subcategories when organising them. My categories for organising movies is as follows:

Action & Adventure
By Director
(for those directors whose every film I must have)
Comedy
Cult & Exploitation
Drama
Horror & Supernatural
Fantasy
Martial Arts
Science Fiction
(subdivided into decades)
Thriller & Crime
War
Western


I would put Jaws into the Action & Adventure category. Frankenstein would go into Science Fiction. With your example of zombies - if there is a scientific premise to them, then they go into the Science Fiction category; otherwise, into Fantasy. Any more subdivisions and it would get too confusing for me. Any foreign film I have goes into the relevant categories listed.

I have two further categories that I keep separate from the fiction: Documentary and Stand-up. Stand-up is subdivided by comedian. Documentary is subdivided into:

Art
Economics & Politics
History
Music
Nature, Environment & Health
Religion & Mythology
Science, Mathematics & Philosophy
Sociology & Anthropology
Sport & Games
Various
 

Verna

Rocket Babe
Writer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Location
Alabama
#30
I'm not sure if it matters about book or movie but Mary Shelley is credited with being the originator of science fiction.


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Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#32
How about works like Gulliver's Travels?
I've always considered that as Fantasy but if you consider the science that could make it possible then technically it could be science fiction.
With a universal communicator even Yahoos could be possible.
 

Jethro

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
#33
Will try this again, just because a movie has SciFi trappings doesn't necessarily mean its a SciFi movie, you need to look beyond the "science" to the actual themes, sub-plots etc. Alien when it is boiled down is a monster movie, the realm of Horror, and people trying to survive.

Tom correct on Night of the Living Dead btw, ghouls not zombies according to Romero.

Interesting the recent The Arrival is being reviewed etc on horror sites, definitely not a horror movie, but then again those people are reviewing superhero flicks as well.

SciFi/Horror/Fantasy comes under the banner of speculative Downunder, different takes on at times very similar material. BTW Morgan looks good, and yes a horror movie with SciFi trappings.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#34
Alien when it is boiled down is a monster movie, the realm of Horror, and people trying to survive.
With the recent sequels/reboots (Prometheus, Covenant) do you still think they are leaning to the horror spectrum? I actually agree with you about the original Alien that it's a horror monster movie but the recent movies, I think, lean more towards the horror resulting from science gone wrong.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
#35
I have problems figuring the genre of most movies, these days.
So I have to science the sh*t out of it. :woot:

According to me, lol:
“Arrival” is a love story underneath it all. A mother’s love and pain all raw onscreen.
But! Because science is the actual engine, it’s genre is Sci-Fi.
“The Martian” a drama but Sci-Fi.
“The Others” is a drama.
“A Quiet Place” is horror.
“Zombieland” is difficult. Yeah, there’s the sub-genre “horror-comedy”...but it’s horror if I have to choose. There is zero laughs if not set in a horrific zombie outbreak.

I ask myself what the movie wanted me to feel. Awe, disgust, warmth, sadness.
Then I pick the genre.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Location
Orange County
#36
I voted sci-fi because that's how I see it. However, the more I think about it, the intention of the story was meant to shock and horrify people so... maybe horror is a more accurate category.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#37
If ya think about the story of Frankenstein and the undertones it is a very sad story exploring the drama of society's affinity to reject those that are different. Frankenstein's creature was not a true monster because he was gentle and caring to the lil girl and only turned on people after they treated him horrifically.
People saw his appearance and classified him as a 'monster' to which he responded in kind.
The "horror" in the story is how Frankenstein and his creature was treated by others.

The recently released films about Frankenstein focus on this and not on the monster.
Victor Frankenstein (2015)
Frankenstein (2015)


Frankenstein is the scientist not the creature.
The creature didn't have a name as far as I know.
It is referred to as "The Monster".

As for Alien and it being horror/monster movie wrapped in science fiction I must disagree.
Its a science fiction movie that illicits horror in people.
Transcendence (2014) can then be considered a horror/monster movie wrapped in science fiction.
Who is the monster? The AI or the people terrified of it?

Its the elements that create the horror that define the genre.
The horror of Alien has been created with a wild animals on Earth.
Look at the movie Burning Bright (2010).
Its about people locked in a house during a hurricane with a deadly, very hungry tiger stalking them.
Its not science fiction but it has the same horrific feel as Alien.
In Alien, the setting is what defines it as science fiction, not how it makes you feel.
It doesn't horrify me at all, I find it interesting because of the science fiction elements.

I see Frankenstein as a scientific experiment. I feel sad for the plight of the monster (the actual horror) but the science fiction is what sticks in my mind.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#38
I voted sci-fi because that's how I see it. However, the more I think about it, the intention of the story was meant to shock and horrify people so... maybe horror is a more accurate category.
That's an interesting point to consider, whether a work of fiction should be classified by it's technical aspects or by what the creator of the work intended. Sure,
I see Frankenstein as a scientific experiment. I feel sad for the plight of the monster (the actual horror) but the science fiction is what sticks in my mind.
That is kind of where I'm at with it and, from re-reading this whole thread, it seems consistent with my initial response. The social ills portrayed are a horror but the premise of the work is one of science.
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
#39
I voted sci-fi. There was a lecture on Sci-Fi that I listened in on that reported it to be initially Sci-Fi. However, this changed to horror as the years wore on.
 

Verna

Rocket Babe
Writer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Location
Alabama
#40
While Frankenstein is a horror story, Mary Shelly is considered to be the mother of science fiction by literary experts. If you want to put it in the horror / sci-fi label that would be accurate, by it's definitely sci-fi too.
 
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