A decade has passed, yet watching Lisa Frankenstein, Zelda Williams' feature film debut, it's hard to shake the memory of her loss. And yet you might want to shake it because Lisa Frankenstein is Williams' standing on her own, apart from who her father was in life, more so from who he is in death.
Right or wrong, it's inevitable that those of an age to remember Robin Williams will likely make comparisons. Inevitable, too, is the influence that Zelda's father has on her work. What's not inevitable is that this influence will remain the overwhelming factor in processing her work.
But for now, that might be OK, particularly for a first film where memories and demons collide in a creative effort to purge whatever trauma inflicts the survivor: Guilt, anger, shame, sadness, and possibly, even, humor. Dark humor.
Indeed, Lisa Frankenstein is dark. Not quite as dark as her father's World's Greatest Dad (2009) gold Death to Smoochy (2002), but dark enough to register as having tapped into something deeply personal. It's not off-putting, but it's there, leaving us wondering just how intentional the connection between script and reality is for the director.