Shudder has been killing it with their original programming lately. And their latest offering looks back at the origin story of Mary Shelley’s iconic Frankenstein. A new trailer has dropped for A Nightmare Wakes from writer/director Nora Unkel. This film tells the story of how a 19 year old woman came up with one of the most iconic tales of terror ever written.
“While composing her famous novel Frankenstein, Mary 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. An unsettlingly intimate portrayal of a brilliant artist at her most troubled, A Nightmare Wakes traces the tortured birth of a timeless masterwork and the rightful ascension of its creator to stand alongside her creation.”
The story of how Frankenstein was born is almost as legendary as the novel. On a summer weekend in 1816, the infamous poet Lord Byron invited his friend and fellow poet Percy Shelly to his home on Lake Geneva. Villa Diodati, and yes they did do a Doctor Who episode about it. Percy brought along his wife Mary, along with her sister. After a storm hits, everyone is forced to stay indoors. Coming up with the most terrifying ghost stories is how they pass the time. Mary conceived of what would become Frankenstein.
Byron came up with a story about a sophisticated vampire. Byron’s friend John Polidori took that idea and turned it into a novella called The Vampyre. It was the first modern vampire story, influencing Bram Stoker. In a way, Frankenstein and Dracula have the exact same birthday!
Two other films have been made about this historic weekend. Gothic, directed by Ken Russell, and the hard to find Haunted Summer. Shudder will debut A Nightmare Wakes on Feb 4.
Featured Image: Shudder