Gods and Monsters is the disturbed true story capturing the final weeks of homosexual director James Whale’s life.
Ian Mckellen plays the role of Whale, the director of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, as he befriends his ex-marine gardener, Clayton Boone (played by Brendan Frasier in a much more serious role than we are used to seeing). Whale tries to rekindle his artistry by offering to paint Boone’s portrait, these sit-down sessions end in a fit of rage as Whale reveals the darkness that has been haunting him since the Korean War.
There is a suitably awkward chemistry between Frasier and McKellen as they are at opposite ends of the spectrums of their lives. I can’t imagine how challenging these roles were for these two actors and they really bring their A-game to the table.
We watch a very successful man as he drowns in his own senility.
Gods and Monsters is a powerful movie which shows you an icon at his very worst. By the end credits my first thought was that it contained entirely more than I wanted to know about one of the horror genre’s greatest directors. The film was so disturbing, in fact, that at one point I nearly had to look away from the screen. A few moments which compare Boone to Whale’s monster seemed a little silly and out of place.