Frankenstein actually is quite pared down adaptation but in a good way. It breaks the story down to the pure emotions of the story quite effectively. This film has so many iconic elements its pretty extraordinary. The monster himself of course in terms of the outstanding makeup but also Karloff's performance. Dr. Frankenstein himself as well with Colin Clive's rather lively depiction of a mad scientist. Not to forget Dwight Frye's monstrous lab assistant, even if he's not named Igor. The film though goes beyond that through James Whale's impeccable direction that uses the camera so fluidly when so many directors just kind of pointed it in the most standard fashion possible. The atmosphere of the film is remarkable, and the art direction, particularly the windmill and the lab, is unforgettable. The horror element is always present, but the film actually is a rather poignant examination of tragic story of a creature that should never have been made.