½*/**** Image A Sound B Extras B
starring Parker Posey, Vincent Perez, Thomas Kretschmann, Adam Goldberg
screenplay by John Shiban
directed by Marcus Nispel
by Walter Chaw Marcus Nispel's Frankenstein, conceived by schlock-meister general Dean Koontz as the pilot for a stillborn USA Network series, is the very model of style over substance. Would that the style even belonged to Nispel: all of muted greens and bleached yellows, memories of Se7en swim, bidden, to the mind of the genre enthusiast. It's one thing to frame the American backcountry in shades of monumentalized sepia (as Nispel did in his Texas Chain Saw Massacre redux), another altogether to throw a haze of music-video mute over the Big Easy. If the cinematography weren't enough, the title sequence and faux-Nine Inch Nails score take it the rest of the way, establishing the picture as a police procedural of a certain kind while the (misleading) title announces a supernatural bent. The real bogeys haunting the piece, though, are the careers of Parker Posey and Michael Madsen, together rattling chains disinterestedly as the former slides into her third decade as someone who's not very good but has managed to continue working based on some misconception of early indie-queen dividends, the latter too comfortable being both cast the crooked cop and mistaken for Tom Sizemore.