We must be dreaming: Shudder acquires A Nightmare Wakes

A Nightmare Wakes. Image courtesy Shudder
A Nightmare Wakes. Image courtesy Shudder /

Horror streaming platform Shudder announced that they have picked up Nora Unkel’s A Nightmare Wakes, and it will premier in February.

Described as a psychological thriller, A Nightmare Wakes tells the story of Mary Shelley, who wrote the classic gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Over time, the title has been shortened, and modern readers know this written work of horror simply as Frankenstein.

In 1816, 19-year-old Mary, poets Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley and a few friends stayed at a lakeside chateau in Switzerland. Unfortunately, they were plagued with bad weather and trapped indoors most of the time, and whiled away the time by sharing ghost stories, discussing literary works and taking drugs.

Eventually, they decided to see which of them could write the best horror story, and this is how Frankenstein was created. The story of how this competition came to be is fascinating, and you can read all about it here, or even watch the events as they are presented in the film Gothic.

In A Nightmare Wakes, Mary finds that the characters in her book seem to come to life, and torment her. She comes to believe that she must choose between her novel and her great love for Percy.

A Nightmare Wakes
A Nightmare Wakes. Image courtesy Shudder /

Shudder General Manager Craig Engler says that although Shelley was a driving force in the creation of the horror and science fiction genres, “her story has too often fallen beneath the shadow of the iconic monster she created.”

Writer-Director Nora Unkel hopes to remedy that with the film. A Nightmare Wakes  employed a largely female production team, and although the film makers pride themselves on being as historically accurate as possible where lighting and design are concerned, racially diverse actors were cast.

A Nightmare Wakes stars Alix Wilton Rega, Giullian Yao Gioello (Scream: The TV Series), Philippe Bowgen, Clair Glassrod, Lee Garrett and Shannon Spangler. The film will premier on Shudder on February 4th, shortly after the 170th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s death.

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Have you read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? Are you interested in watching A Nightmare Wakes when it debuts on Shudder? Tell us all about it in the comments section.