- Chad L. Coleman, Laya DeLeon Hayes, Denzel Whitaker
- Written by
- Bomani J. Story
- Directed by
- Bomani J. Story
- Run Time
- 1h 31min
- Release Date
- June 9th, 2023
I love a good retelling of a classic story, especially when it is framed around a current problem that few want to recognize. Writer/ director Bomani J. Story has picked a tale that never gets old, that being Mary Shelley’s groundbreaking novel Frankenstein. Story takes the frame work of the classic novel and mixes in a story about grief and anger and the roads that those two things can lead us down.
Vicaria (Laya DeLeon Hayes) is a smart student whose life has been shaped by the tragedies that have occurred so far. Not only did she lose her mother to violence, she also recently lost her brother Chris (Edem Atsu-Swanzy) and believes death is a disease and therefore can be cured. During the day Vicaria is a student, but at night she goes to an abandoned building and tries to find the cure to death. To do so she needs bodies and being in the projects she has access to them, as gang violence seems to take a life every night. Her goal is to bring her brother back to life and she finally is at the point in making that a reality, and to her surprise her experiment works. After her accomplishment, she locks her creation in that abandoned building, but while she had good intentions with her plan, like another legendary author said, “Sometimes, dead is better.” Chris who is now something far from human, nearly kills a member of Kango’s (Denzel Whitaker) crew, thus drawing their attention to Vicaria. Although she resists at first, she soon has to start repaying on what she has done, by working for Kango. Her projects though don’t belong to Kango anymore, as Chris is roaming free among them and Vacaria has to stop her creation before it is too late.
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster gives plenty of nods to Shelley’s work, but Story makes this version his own with this reimagining. He has also given this old tale a new life and you might argue he is the mad scientist who created a meaningful story for today’s audience. Of course there is a horror aspect to this film, and it is present, but it also never loses its emotional core and generally makes you care for its characters. All and all the movie is strongest when it steers away from Shelley and into its own as it also ponders some tough questions, all while delivering a film that is almost electric.
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster may be a story that has been recycled often, but trust me when I say it justifies its existence. A lot of that is because of Story, who really delivers, and he is not the only reason. The performances are great. Of course lead by DeLeon Hayes, who gives Vicaria the depth her character needs. This movie has a lot to say about the world that these characters inhabit and it is done so in a very effective and at times shocking way. It can be difficult making a classic you own, but Story does and bring to life something that will for some become their favorite version.