Review: Depraved

Depraved is a modern day Frankenstein movie set in Brooklyn. At the center is young doctor Henry (David Call, TV’s The Magicians), who suffers from PTSD after serving in a medical unit somewhere in the Middle East. He’s lured into a scheme with a pharmaceutical company executive (Joshua Leonard) to bring a patchwork person back to life, something he’s still haunted he was unable to do back on the battlefield. And he becomes Father to his creation, Adam (Alex Breaux). But as with the original story, the creation wants more than to be a science experiment. And once he sees the world outside the lab, he can’t be put back in the box. It’s a thoughtful little horror flick in a very indie kind of way.

The film begins in a very mundane fashion with a couple arguing about moving in together and having children. And as the boyfriend leaves to head home, he’s suddenly murdered. Next thing you know there’s this multi-scarred man in a lab and a doctor talking to him, teaching him to move, to talk, to think. And it is a semi-loving relationship. Dr. Henry tucks him into bed and is pleased when he says his first words. But then the drug company exec comes around, and seeing dollar signs in the progress Henry and Adam are making, decides to push the timeline, taking Adam out on the town. And seeing that his creator and the exec both have women in their lives makes him more than curious about finding himself a mate. And once he finds videos of his origin story and has some fleeting memories of his earlier life, he’s angry and out of control. And having built an Ubermensch, the kind but damaged creator and the evil drug executive are powerless to stop the inevitable.

Depraved has some gaping plot holes, like why did they need to have such a patchwork quilt of a monster if all they wanted was to prove that they could bring people back to life, and what exactly did Adam remember about his former brain’s life. But those don’t really detract from the central story of the monster who just wants to be loved. It’s well done. And the modern framing works. I’d recommend it to horror fans mostly, or people who like gritty stories told in the grittier parts of Brooklyn.

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