As all of you might know, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist who wrote the Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), which is considered an early example of science fiction. Yes, the same Frankenstein that was the source for all the stories and film adaptations you have seen many times. And that was her first novel, written when she was only 18.
Gothic drama and psychological thriller A Nightmare Wakes (2020) is based on Mary Shelley’s writing of Frankenstein, steeped in accurate period details but told with a modern perspective. While composing the famous novel, Shelley descends into an opium-fueled fever dream while carrying on a torrid love affair with Percy Shelley. As she writes, the characters of her novel come to life and begin to plague her relationship with Percy. Before long, she must choose between true love and her literary masterpiece.
The movie is the debut feature film for writer and director Nora Unkel after a few short films. London-born actress Alix Wilton Regan heads the main cast portraying Mary Shelley. Together with her, Giullian Gioiello, Claire Glassford, Philippe Bowgen, Lee Garrett, and Shannon Spangler complete the main cast.
In the words of director Nora Unkel, “with her Creature and Creator, Mary Shelley created science fiction as an entire genre and transfixed 1800s Europe in ways never thought possible. Shelley’s struggle with love, loss, abandonment by society and family, and her own sanity, had yet to be captured fully on-screen. She lived a colorful life of love, drugs, and freedom alongside some of the most celebrated artists of her day”.
A Nightmare Wakes (2020) was a selection of the 2017 IFP Week and 2019 IFP Narrative Lab, as well as the 2017 Frontières Co-Production Market at Fantasia and 2019 Frontières Platform at Cannes. The film premiered at Salem Horror Fest’s virtual edition this past October. Now, it had debuted on Shudder on February 4th, days after the 170th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s death on February 1st, 1851. Here you can watch its official trailer.
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