A Nightmare Wakes

[2.75 stars]

The reason to see this first feature by writer/director Nora Unkel is not the movie itself. The story, while closer to history than the typical apocryphal retelling of it in many movies and even a recent Doctor Who, ends up as a a tortured metaphor for the birthing of the story. It isn’t bad or uninventive, but it just isn’t as engaging as the myth, and isn’t accurate enough to serve as revelatory. And, worse, it weakens Shelley as a writer, a person, and as a woman.

However, what Unkel does show us is what she might be capable of with better equipment and script. The movie is beautifully filmed, edited, and framed. It is also relatively well acted, particularly by Alix Wilton Regan (The Wife) who has to navigate a huge range of emotion and mixed reality.

For a peek at a director and what may be to come, check this story out. While it is no more accurate than many of the previous tales (especially at the end) it attempts to present a more honest view of the creative process and relationships that gave rise to one of the most enduring tales ever put to bound paper. And if the movie should fail to excite, appreciate it simply for the potential it presents.

A Nightmare Wakes Poster

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