DEPRAVED is a new horror thriller by actor and filmmaker Larry Fessenden. Honestly, you can’t read the plot and not be curious about this movie. It’s basically a modern day adaptation of Frankenstein – with all that that entails. Read our full Depraved review here.
Depraved is a new horror thriller with drama elements for good measure. But really, aren’t all movies some form of drama? Anyway, this one is directed by Larry Fessenden, who many will know as either a horror actor or horror filmmaker – probably both.
And yes, he does have a small role (pretty much a cameo) in Depraved as well. As he should.
The plot of this new horror thriller sounds quite a lot like Frankenstein because, basically, it is. Well, a version that takes place in a different time and with all the opportunities this offers. I personally really liked how this was handled.
Find out if this is a movie for you in the rest of our Depraved review below.
Frankenstein’s monster is named Adam
In Depraved, the creation that is equivalent to Frankentein’s monster is named Adam. Of course, this might seem like the obvious choice since he is the first man created in this manner. However, it’s not the only reason, but I won’t spoil it for you.
Also, the new Frankenstein is called Henry and in this movie, it is even commented that his name should be Victor – as in Victor Frankenstein. Henry is a doctor, but one that suffers from PTSD and wants to make a difference. Once again, it isn’t quite as simple as it might seem.
Henry is played by David Call who manages to show a very nuanced person. No small feat when challenged with having an audience that “knows” this character for previous adaptations. You might know David Call from the TV series The Sinner.
Playing Adam is met with some of the same challenges, but actor Alex Breaux does a really good job. I definitely found it fascinating to watch Alex Breaux (When They See Us) play Adam as he went from a mute weirdo to a functioning human being.
As the best friend of Henry (and knowing that Adam exists), we have Joshua Leonard.
You probably became familiar with his face in a little found footage movie called The Blair Witch Project (1999). Or more recently, you could’ve seen him in Bates Motel. Whenever I see Joshua Leonard in anything, he always manages to deliver a memorable performance. Depraved is no exception.
The style of Depraved didn’t win me over
A rating of three out of five isn’t bad, but when you read my praise of the actors above, it might seem strange. I did really enjoy a lot of the movie, but there were elements of its style that did not work for me.
Now, this might just be my personal preference (even a pet peeve, I suppose), but it just rubbed me the wrong way. Whenever we see Adam’s brain start to work and “connect the dots” of this world, he has woken up in, the visuals threw me off.
We see these neon lights and it is used continuously. For many people, this might be fine, but for me it kept ruining the tone and style of the movie. It seems so opposite the raw and direct style otherwise used.
Also, I have to say there are some issues with the plot that were left hanging. I am fine with not having every question answered, but there are also elements that you need to have anwered. Like, how did they choose Adam’s brain “donor”. And if they didn’t actively choose it, then how did they know who his girlfriend was.
And another thing, Henry has an ex-girlfriend (maybe she’s still sort of his girlfriend) who very strangely is not scared when she first meets Adam. Whether she knew he existed of not, the way she meets him would make anyone jump. But honestly, their relationship is weird in many ways.
Check out Depraved in theaters and on VOD from Friday the 13th
As mentioned earlier, Depraved was written and directed by Larry Fessenden. He has been acting in horror movies for many years and has also been directing and writing horror movies for just as long.
More than anything, however, he has been producing so many movies. He was a producer on the Ti West movies The House of the Devil (2009) and The Innkeepers (2011). He has a producer credit on 74 productions and counting.
However, he has an acting credit on more than 100 movies, so this is probably why you find his name and face familiar. He was in We Are Still Here (2015) which we reviewed here, and he’s also in the new zombie horror comedy The Dead Don’t Die (2019), so he’s still going strong.
If you’re a fan of the Frankenstein story and enjoy watching new adaptations, then do check out Depraved. While I wasn’t happy with all its parts, I did enjoy the movie as a whole.
Depraved is in theaters & VOD September 13, 2019. (Yes, that’s a Friday the 13th.)
Writer/Director/Editor/Producer: Larry Fessenden
Cast: Alex Breaux (Bushwick), David Call (The Sinner), Joshua Leonard (The Blair Witch Project), Ana Kayne (Another Earth), Addison Timlin (The Town That Dreaded Sundown), Chloë Levine (The Transfiguration, The Ranger).
Suffering from PTSD following his stint as an army medic, Henry (David Call) now works feverishly in his Brooklyn laboratory to forget the death he witnessed overseas by creating life in the form of a man cobbled together from body parts. After procuring a brain from an unwitting victim, his creation—Adam (Alex Breaux)—is born. But it soon seems that giving life to Adam was the easy part; teaching him how to live in a dark and troubled world may be perilous.