11 Movies That Were Inspired by Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein"

Mary Shelley's book "Frankenstein" has received countless movie and television adaptations over the years. The iconic novel, which was originally published in 1818, follows a mad scientist named Victor Frankenstein who, after losing his mother to scarlet fever, is determined to defy nature and learn how to bring the dead back to life. Although he successfully creates a humanoid creature by using pieces from various corpses, Victor comes to regret his experiment once he loses control of the creature, who kills his loved ones.

If you're a horror fan who's itching to see a modern take on this classic story, you'll love Bomani J. Story's film "The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster." The movie, which hit theaters on June 9, stars Laya DeLeon Hayes as Vicaria, a 17-year-old genius who embarks on a mission to bring her brother back to life after losing him to gun violence.

Since "The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster" is one of many iterations of "Frankenstein," see below for 12 must-see movies based on Shelley's classic horror novel.

1. "Frankenstein" (1931)

While James Whale's "Frankenstein" wasn't the first movie to have adapted Shelley's novel, it has become one of the most memorable adaptations, having spawned a number of sequels and spin-off films. Colin Clive's version of Frankenstein, as well as Boris Karloff's take on The Monster, heavily influenced other iterations of the characters over the years, making it a must-watch film.

2. "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)

BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, from left, Elsa Lanchester, Boris Karloff, 1935
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"Bride of Frankenstein" picks up right after the events of the first film. The Monster returns and tries to make friends, however, since everyone is afraid of him, he seeks out Frankenstein's help in making him a mate who's just like him.

3. "Son of Frankenstein" (1939)

Wolf von Frankenstein revives his father's monster in hopes of rehabilitating him and clearing his family name. However, he soon comes to regret his decision when The Monster commits another series of murders.

4. "Igor" (2008)

What if Frankenstein created a monster that wasn't scary but sweet? In this film, Igor — the hunchbacked assistant of Dr. Glickenstein — is determined to make his dream of becoming an evil scientist come true by winning the big science fair. However, his plan goes off the rails when his invention results in a nice monster instead of an evil one.

5. "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975)

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, Patricia Quinn, Tim Curry, Nell Campbell, 1975. TM and Copyright  20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.
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When a young couple gets a flat tire on a rainy night, they're forced to take shelter at a nearby castle owned by a mad scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). During their stay, they witness Dr. Frank-N-Furter bring to life a tall and muscular man named Rocky. Since its release in 1975, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" has become a cult classic due to its music, comedy, and camp.

6. "Edward Scissorhands" (1990)

Although "Edward Scissorhands" isn't a direct adaptation of "Frankenstein," its titular character, Edward, shares similarities with The Monster in that he's also a humanoid created by a scientist. Since his inventor died before finishing his work, Edward is forced to live with scissors as his hands, but instead of his neighbors shunning him, they're fascinated by Edward and even befriend him.

7. "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1994)

FRANKENSTEIN, (aka MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN), Kenneth Branagh, Helena Bonham Carter, 1994. TriStar Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
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In "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," Kenneth Branagh not only directs the film, but stars as Frankenstein opposite Robert De Niro's version of The Monster. Interestingly, this adaptation takes elements of Whale's "Frankenstein" movies by including The Monster's origin story and his wish to have a mate in one film. This time, The Monster's dream bride is none other than Frankenstein's fiancée herself (Helena Bonham Carter).

8. "Frankenweenie" (2012)

"Frankenweenie" is an animated film directed by Tim Burton that focuses on a young Frankenstein. Instead of creating a terrifying creature from corpses, this Frankenstein revives his adorable dog Sparky after he's killed in a car accident.

9. "Victor Frankenstein" (2015)

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, from left: Daniel Radcliffe as Igor, James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein, 2015. ph: Alex Bailey / TM & copyright  20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved / courtesy Everett Collection
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Despite its title, "Victor Frankenstein" is told from the perspective of Igor (Daniel Radcliffe). After Frankenstein (James McAvoy) recruits Igor to help him with his unorthodox science experiments, the duo attempt to create life while also being on the run from the authorities, who have begun to suspect them of harboring missing body parts.

10. "Frankenstein" (2015)

In this modernized adaptation, Frankenstein and his wife, Elizabeth, thought they discovered the formula for life by creating a man named Adam, but when their experiment goes wrong, they're forced to euthanize their creation. Leaving Adam for dead, he escapes the hospital and begins exploring the real world. However, due to his inability to control his strength and anger, Adam is labeled a monster by society.

11. "The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster" (2023)

THE ANGRY BLACK GIRL AND HER MONSTER, Laya DeLeon Hayes, 2023.  Shudder / Courtesy Everett Collection
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Following the death of her brother to gun violence, Vicaria begins to believe that death is a disease that can be cured. In order to reunite with her brother, Vicaria learns how to bring the dead back to life, but her actions come with a huge consequence when she realizes that she's turned her brother into a monster hungry for revenge.