Wunderkind screenwriter Max Landis, son of John, hasn’t had an easy year. He broke onto the scene in a big way with 2012’sChronicle, which introduced movie audiences to Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan and landed first-time feature director Josh Trank his subsequentFantastic Four gig. (How’d that go?) Through writing a superhero film that relied more on character development than action set-pieces and brand recognition, Landis injected new life into a genre that, even three years ago, was already beginning to feel a bit stale.
Alas, Landis’ pair of 2015 releases hasn’t fared so well. First up was summer’s American Ultra, which despite a buzzworthy pair of leads in Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart flopped with critics and audiences alike; it earned a mere $15 million worldwide against an estimated $28 million budget before slinking out of theatres. Landis’ latest, Victor Frankenstein, might not land studio 20th Century Fox in the red, but make no mistake: It is not a good movie.