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(PG) I’m not going to tell you Tim Burton is back, but Frankenweenie is his best film since the 1990s. Going back to his animation roots and his love of classic horror invigorates the blockbuster auteur. Frankenweenie is certainly his best genre film since 1999’s underrated James Whale love letter, Sleepy Hollow. This classic horror movie homage, itself a remake of Burton’s lovely black and white 1984 short film of the same name, will please both adult genre fans and their indiscriminate children. This family horror flick easily bests recent release Hotel Transylvania and probably has a slight edge on ParaNorman. Sweet Victor Frankenstein reanimates the family dog, Sparky, after he’s hit by a car. Unfortunately, the townspeople of New Holland, especially his classmates, either don’t understand the power Victor has discovered or are simply afraid of science in general. Fans of Burton’s original short will be pleased with the narrative additions made in John August’s script. The last act of monster mayhem enjoys a silly Gremlins-meet-Godzilla showdown at the town fair that is a sheer horror delight. One excellent family friendly horror film this year (ParaNorman) was cause for excitement; two is cause for celebration.


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