However, once the two scientists have animated their new creation (Elsa Lanchester), a grotesque beauty with a frizzled shock of hair even rejects the monster by screaming at him in horror. Dejected, the monster destroys Frankenstein’s laboratory, ostensibly killing himself, his mate, and Dr. Pretorius while allowing the Frankensteins to escape.
Lanchester played a dual role in the film, not only as the monster’s mate but also as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein, who appears briefly at the beginning of the film to set up the tale that follows. The film came under fire from the Hays Office of Film Standards, which insisted on a less-revealing costume for the mate, a reduction in the number of murders depicted, and the removal of a scene in which the monster attempts to “rescue” a figure of Christ on a cross. Censors in other countries took issue with a scene in which the monster looks lovingly upon the body of his, theretofore unanimated mate, fearing that the scene could be interpreted as an endorsement of necrophilia. From an artistic perspective, Karloff objected to having the monster speak in the sequel, believing it harmed the character's poignancy. Critics have generally praised the film’s blend of outrageous thrills and macabre humor.