Lisa Frankenstein
Theatrical release poster
Directed byZelda Williams
Written byDiablo Cody
Produced by
CinematographyPaula Huidobro
Edited byBrad Turner
Music byIsabella Summers
  • MXN Entertainment
  • Lollipop Woods
Distributed by
Release date
  • February 9, 2024 (2024-02-09)
Running time
101 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$13 million[3]
Box office$4.5 million[4][5]

Lisa Frankenstein is a 2024 American comedy horror film directed by Zelda Williams, in her feature-length directorial debut, and written by Diablo Cody. The film stars Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Henry Eikenberry, Joe Chrest, and Carla Gugino. The plot follows a misunderstood teenage goth girl who reanimates a Victorian-era corpse and works to make him into the man of her dreams.

Lisa Frankenstein was released in the United States by Focus Features on February 9, 2024. The film received mixed reviews from critics.


In 1989, Lisa Swallows is a lonely weird girl still reeling from her mother's gruesome axe murder. Her father Dale remarries a horrid and narcissistic woman named Janet, while Lisa gains a stepsister named Taffy. She spends much of her time in a local bachelor's cemetery, much to the chagrin of her stereotypical family. After an unfortunate tanning bed electrocution and a party where Lisa is ultimately drugged and sexually assaulted, Lisa returns to the cemetery and speaks to the grave of a young Victorian man, saying she wishes she were with him. A bolt of green lightning strikes the grave after Lisa leaves the grounds, and the young man is brought back to life as a lovesick zombie, known in credit as "The Creature".

While Lisa is left home alone, the Creature breaks into the Swallows residence and terrifies Lisa. She, despite her fear, decides to hide the creature and keep him safe within her bedroom closet. The Creature, as a traditional undead, is nonverbal, missing multiple body parts and extremely dirty, and he expresses early shame of this.

After Janet antagonizes Lisa and threatens to send her to an asylum, the Creature spontaneously kills Janet and cuts off her ear, hoping Lisa can attach it to his head. He explains to Lisa that, with electrocution, new body parts can become one with him, and she puts him into Taffy's tanning bed to do so. Lisa later lures her classmate Doug, her former assaulter, so that the Creature can cut off Doug's hand. In Doug's panic, the Creature ultimately kills him and hides the body along Janet's. With these new attachments, the Creature starts looking more like his old self, and he and Lisa start to bond.

The police start to investigate Janet and Doug's disappearances. Lisa narrowly avoids being implicated before going to the home of her crush, Michael, only to find him in bed with Taffy, even though she knew Lisa liked him. The Creature chops off Michael's groin and makes him bleed out, in addition to bludgeoning an old man and throwing a police officer into a grave. Lisa attaches Michael's groin to the Creature so that they can have sex.

With the police zeroing in on Lisa, she has the Creature electrocute her in the tanning bed where she conducts her experiments on him, after he puts it on the highest setting and causes Lisa to burn to death. Dale and Taffy mourn her, but the Creature is shown to have resurrected Lisa while he looks fully alive and is able to speak again.



Diablo Cody wrote the script for Lisa Frankenstein, and she announced that she would be producing the film with collaborator Mason Novick in June 2022. Zelda Williams makes her feature-length debut as the director of the film starring Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse. Further casting announcements of Liza Soberano, Carla Gugino, Joe Chrest, and Henry Eikenberry were also unveiled in August 2022,[1] around the time when production began filming in New Orleans which was expected to run until September.[7][8]

The film's title is an amalgamation of "Lisa Frank", a company known for producing brightly colored stickers and school supplies, and Frankenstein.[9][10]


Lisa Frankenstein was released in the United States by Focus Features on February 9, 2024.[11] It is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom by Universal Pictures on March 1, 2024.[2]


Box office

In the United States and Canada, Lisa Frankenstein was projected to gross $4–6 million from 3,144 theaters in its opening weekend.[3] The film made $1.7 million on its first day, including $700,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $3.8 million, finishing second behind holdover Argylle.[12]

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 49% based on 132 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The website's consensus reads: "An affectionate callback to classic horror comedies of the '80s, Lisa Frankenstein can be fun in its own right despite not quite measuring up to the movies it imitates."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on 41 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[14] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[12]

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two out of four stars, writing that it "suffers from Mixed Genre Syndrome and hops from horror spoof to trauma survivor story to pure camp to high school comedy, never really finding its footing."[15] Owen Gleiberman of Variety described the film as derivative and "neither scary nor funny", calling it "a horror-com smoothie made mostly of ancient, moldy fruit."[16] The Guardian's Benjamin Lee gave the film a score of two out of five stars, criticizing its pacing and script, and writing that, "The film feels a little trapped between two worlds, a tween sleepover comedy on the verge of full body horror".[17] IndieWire's David Ehrlich gave the film a grade of "C", commending the performances of Newton and Sprouse but lamenting that, "Scenes have no shape to them, the world feels half-built, and the reality that supposedly holds them together is too erratic for Williams to establish any kind of emotional baseline."[18]

Valerie Complex of Deadline Hollywood complimented the film's visual aesthetic and the performances of Newton and Soberano, but criticized its pacing: "[The] inconsistency in pacing, though reflective of the film's ambition to blend genres and tones, might detract from the cohesiveness of the narrative."[19] Meagan Navarro of Bloody Disgusting characterized the film's central romance as underdeveloped, but praised Newton's performance, as well as the film's production design and humor, calling it "a cute, quirky, disjointed and harmless dark comedy that's less interested in fluid storytelling than it is championing teen weirdos and outcasts through an '80s vibe."[20] The New York Times' Alissa Wilkinson also praised the production design, and concluded: "Brief, pleasant and fun to look at, the movie is not interested in anything more than love and being understood, and in that way it's a great callback to teen romances from an earlier era."[10]


  1. ^ a b Grobar, Matt (August 11, 2022). "Lisa Frankenstein: Carla Gugino, Liza Soberano, Joe Chrest & Henry Eikenberry Board Zelda Williams' Horror-Comedy For Focus Features". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on August 19, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Lisa Frankenstein (15)". BBFC. February 2, 2024. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  3. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca (February 7, 2024). "Lisa Frankenstein Takes on Argylle in Bleak Box Office Battle". Variety. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  4. ^ "Lisa Frankenstein — Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  5. ^ "Lisa Frankenstein (2024)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  6. ^ Felipe, MJ (August 25, 2023). "How Liza Soberano landed role in Hollywood film 'Lisa Frankeinstein'". Archived from the original on January 5, 2024. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  7. ^ Romanchick, Shane (August 8, 2022). "Zelda Williams' Directorial Debut Lisa Frankenstein Begins Filming". Collider. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  8. ^ "Lisa Frankenstein". Production List. July 18, 2022. Archived from the original on December 3, 2022. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  9. ^ Melanson, Angel (February 8, 2024). "Step Into A Colorful World: Lisa Frankenstein Release Date, Cast, Trailer And More". Fangoria. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  10. ^ a b Wilkinson, Alissa (February 8, 2024). "'Lisa Frankenstein' Review: When Mom Finds Out, You're So Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 13, 2023). "Focus Features Dates Diablo Cody Written Horror Comedy 'Lisa Frankenstein'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 13, 2023. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  12. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 11, 2024). "Box Office Sacked By Super Bowl: 'Argylle' $6M+, 'Lisa Frankenstein' $3M+ As Weekend Drops To Current 2024 Low Of $40M – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 11, 2024.
  13. ^ "Lisa Frankenstein". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved February 15, 2024.
  14. ^ "Lisa Frankenstein". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  15. ^ Roeper, Richard (February 7, 2024). "'Lisa Frankenstein' stitches comedy and horror together into a lumbering oddity". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  16. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (February 7, 2024). "'Lisa Frankenstein' Review: Diablo Cody Scripts a Faux Outrageous Undead Teenage Horror Comedy That Never Finds Its Joke". Variety. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  17. ^ Lee, Benjamin (February 8, 2024). "Lisa Frankenstein review – Diablo Cody's throwback comedy-horror is monster mush". The Guardian. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  18. ^ Ehrlich, David (February 7, 2024). "'Lisa Frankenstein' Review: Diablo Cody and Zelda Williams' Irreverent Monster Riff Is Missing a Few Vital Organs". IndieWire. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  19. ^ Complex, Valerie (February 7, 2024). "'Lisa Frankenstein' Review: A Campy Homage To '80s Horror Cinema". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 14, 2024.
  20. ^ Navarro, Meagan (February 7, 2024). "'Lisa Frankenstein' Review – Diablo Cody's Sugary Sweet Zom-Com Captures the '80s". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved February 14, 2024.