There are tropes, and then there are tropes.
The big boys, the genre-makers, the ones that become so instantly recognizable that they transcend horror and become cultural icons.
You ask anyone, even non-fans, and they’re going to be able to tell you what Frankenstein is about, basically. They might miss the nuances and they’re probably going to think that the monster is named Frankenstein, but they’re going to get the skeletal storyline.
Unfortunately they come up so frequently that half the time they’re just a hot mess. The Tenant falls into that territory.
You know the basic story, though there are some at less notable variations off of the theme. The doctor wants to ‘cure’. He wants to ‘help life’. His loving but long suffering wife announces her pregnancy. His assistant comes back with an abnormal brain, er, slips his wife something that never should have happened. Oddly, in an even weirder Frankenstein echo, the wife dies in childbirth.
And…the movie falls apart, though there wasn’t that much holding it together in the first place. The acting, which wasn’t great to begin with, falls apart. There’s a lot of weird detailing that doesn’t really need a lot of thought to see through; the empty asylum apparently has the room equivalent of the death car urban legend. The entire film just melts into pretty clichéd B or C grade jump horror type plot points. I’m fairly certain I saw this set at a haunted house this fall.
They’re not all going to be winners, guys, but if you’re big into the man-made horrors genre, don’t let me stop you.