Box art for Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein (1931)

  • Rated NR
  • HD and SD formats available

drama, horror, sci-fi & fantasy

Boris Karloff is the screen's most memorable creature in the story of Dr. Frankenstein, who tampers with life and death when he pieces together salvaged body parts to create a human monster.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Classic monster movie still electrifies.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this horror movie is tame by today's standards, it does deal with issues of life and death and scientific ethics. Also, there are some killings, including a child who is drowned when a monster throws her into a lake. Younger children might be frightened by the monster, themes of grave-robbing, and the laboratory scenes. Still, older kids accustomed to modern-day horror's fast pace and stylized violence may find the film too "old-school" for their tastes.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how horror movies have evolved since this movie was released in 1931. What makes a movie scary?
  • Do contemporary horror films rely too much on gratuitous violence and gore?
  • How does this movie still manage to be scary without resorting to over-the-top content?
  • What does the Frankenstein's monster make you feel? Do you feel bad for him?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Maximum of stimulating shock is there, but the thing is handled with subtle change of pace and shift of tempo that keeps attention absorbed to a high voltage climax.

- Alfred Rushford Greason, Variety, Monday, September 24, 2007

Fresh: Absolutely essential.

- Cole Smithey,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: One of the most deservedly famous and chilling horror films of all time.

- Don Druker, Chicago Reader, Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A satisfying and entertaining monster movie with a good moral message. It doesn't do justice to the novel, and it's influence is greater than the film itself, but still, it's worth a watch. I could go on and on writing about this film, but it's been praise enough, so very little of what I could say would be original. All people who call themselves movie lovers need to see this.

- cosmo313, Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 stars

A classic that lives up to all of it's hype. Of the Universal Monsters, Frankenstein is the king. The tone and style is amazing, beautiful and haunting at the same time. The acting is perfect and allows you to enjoy the movie. The story was told so simply, yet powerful and meaningful. It feels like a horror/noir and definitely gave influence to the majority of later horror films and just film in general. It made horror a believable world.

- ythelastman89, Tuesday, November 17, 2009

4 stars

i can't watch this now without thinking of spirit of the beehive :(

- rubystevens, Thursday, November 12, 2009