The horror genre owes a lot to Mary Shelley. In fact, it may owe no one more than her. Shelley’s Frankenstein appeared at a time when spooky stories were limited to dark fairy tales and the occasional ghost story. Her story gave the literary world not just a monster, but a monstrous concept; that challenging death may lead to damnation. Every major horror creator since has worked with that concept. H.P. Lovecraft created a Re-Animator. Stephen King took us to the Pet Sematary. Neither of these happen without that monster who’s name everyone gets wrong (Frankenstein is the SCIENTIST not the MONSTER for the LOVE OF GOD).But for all our familiarity with her creation, most folks aren’t that familiar with Mary Shelley’s life. This summer, however, director Haifaa Al-Mansour and IFC Films want to change that.

Mary Shelley tells the story of the author’s tumultuous love life and invention of the most memorable monster in horror history. Elle Fanning plays the titular character. According to IFC’s YouTube page:

Raised by a renowned philosopher father (Stephen Dillane) in 18th-century London, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning) is a teenage dreamer determined to make her mark on the world when she meets the dashing and brilliant poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth). So begins a torrid, bohemian love affair marked by both passion and personal tragedy that will transform Mary and fuel the writing of her Gothic masterwork.



The film also stars Tom Sturridge as the poet Lord Byron and Maisie Williams as Shelley’s friend Isabel Baxter. The film opens in theaters May 25th.

What do you think of the trailer? Will it do the historic author justice? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. If you want more Frankenstein, check out this other piece on the 200th anniversary addition of the book, or this one on a sequel worthy of Shelley’s genius, The Bride of Frankenstein. And for all your horror news, Frankenstein and otherwise, keep lurking at Nightmare on Film Street.


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