The 90’s may not have been everyone’s favorite decade for horror, but it’s not without it’s master work entries into the genre. One of those master works is Kenneth Branagh’s Oscar winning take on the classic Mary Shelly horror novel Frankenstein. 1994’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is brought to life on the 4K format here with Dolby Vision and HDR10 by Arrow Video. This release had some highs and lows for me, so let’s break it down even further.

Packaging and Art

Unfortunately the first thing I noticed with this release was it’s lack of slipcover or any kind of embellishments, and it still bothers me. This movie is gorgeous, and I wish that could have translated to the packaging a little more. Although the standard softcase packaging is arguably too simple, what really stands out here is the artwork. The new artwork by Laz Marquez is poster worthy. I am generally a fan of reversing my arrow slipcovers to the original artwork from time to time, but I absolutely cannot do that here, because it’s so damn cool. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a first pressing of this release, which comes with an Illustrated collector’s booklet insert featuring new writings and art inspired by the film.

Bonus Features

  • New 4K restoration from the original camera negatives by Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Original uncompressed stereo audio and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Brand new audio commentary by film historians Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains
  • Brand new interview with composer Patrick Doyle
  • Brand new interview with costumer designer James Acheson
  • Brand new interview with make-up designer Daniel Parker
  • Mary Shelley and The Creation of a Monster, a brand new documentary featurette on the origins and evolution of the Frankenstein story, featuring Gothic specialists David Pirie, Jonathan Rigby and Stephen Volk
  • Dissecting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a brand new featurette with David Pirie, Jonathan Rigby and Stephen Volk on the differences between the novel and Kenneth Branagh’s screen adaptation
  • Frankenstein: A Liberal Adaptation from Mrs. Shelley’s Famous Story for Edison Production (1910):
  • The first screen adaptation of Shelley’s story in a 2K restoration by the Library of Congress, with music by Donald Sosin
  • Original trailers
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Laz Marquez
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Jon Towlson and Amy C. Chambers

Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1,Original uncompressed stereo audio

The audio mix is fine. Nothing too fancy happening here when it comes to audio. No new audio formats like Dolby Atmos or DTSX, which I think this movie could have greatly benefitted from the height channel additions as well as an increase in bass effects of any kind. I had to even check my subwoofers mid movie to confirm that they were on. This is a pretty decent overall audio offering, but it’s a very bare bones surround experience. I would say it’s not much of an upgrade from the previous bluray.

Video: 4K restoration from the original camera negatives by Sony Pictures Entertainment

What’s interesting about this release, is that I believe Arrow Video worked out some sort of licensing agreement with Sony, because this appears to be a Sony restoration. Normally, a restoration from Arrow and a restoration from Sony would excite me because both companies have a tradition of quality video transfers. Unfortunately, I don’t know if this release will be a poster child of the capability that both companies have when it comes to restorations, but it is a decent quality release overall. The grain is front and center with this one, almost giving it a softness that is more than I usually would prefer from a release like this. There isn’t a ton of fine detail throughout, but the balance and richness of the colors benefit from the new format and the HDR treatment quite a bit.


I can’t say that the packaging and presentation lived up to my standards this time around, but I can say that this movie is well worth your time if you havn’t seen it. I personally love this film, and if you don’t have this one in your collection yet, this is a fine option and probably still the best quality of this movie available on the market.