Mary Shelley Brings Frankenstein To Life In ‘A Nightmare Wakes’

January 14, 2021

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:



When Mary Shelley created Frankenstein she forever secured her place in history. Just days after the upcoming 170th anniversary of her death on February 1, 1851, writer-director Nora Unkel‘s new vision A Nightmare Wakes takes us into Shelley’s world.


In the film, “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. Before long, she must choose between true love and her literary masterpiece.”


An unsettlingly intimate portrayal of a brilliant artist at her most troubled, the thriller traces the tortured birth of a timeless masterwork and the rightful ascension of its creator to stand alongside her creation.


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. With A NIGHTMARE WAKES, I hope to leave Shudder members enraptured by Shelley’s chilling, intimate, and dark narrative, inspired by how much her story is, in fact, our own,” said Nora Unkel.


Mary Shelley helped create two of the most popular genres in cinema, horror and science fiction. Yet her story has too often fallen beneath the shadow of the iconic monster she created. With A NIGHTMARE WAKES, Nora Unkel gives us an opportunity to see Mary in a new light, and to appreciate her accomplishments anew,” said Craig Engler, General Manager of Shudder.


Alix Wilton Regan (The Wife), Giullian Yao Gioiello (“Scream: The TV Series”, Marvel’s “Iron Fist”), Philippe Bowgen (“The Mick”), star as well as Lee Garrett, Claire Glassford, and Shannon Spangler. The filmmaker took great pains to be as historically accurate as possible in the movie’s lighting and design, they chose to cast racially diverse actors and to produce A Nightmare Wakes with a majority female production crew.


The film is produced by Robert Menzies, Devin Shepherd, Gabriel Rosenstein, Frédéric Fiore, and Eric Tavitian. John Connor, DJ Dodd, Dave Conlon, Bruce Fleming, Paul Moyer, and Dan Wong executive produced. It is A Logical Pictures and Wild Obscura production, in association with Zed Film, The Spitting Image, and Eggplant Picture and Sound.


A Nightmare Wakes will be available exclusively on Shudder beginning February 4, 2021, in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as via the Shudder offering within the AMC+ bundle where available.



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