From the looks of the trailer for Mary Shelley, the new biopic starring Elle Fanning as the famed Frankenstein author, Shelley’s early life was filled with thoughts of monsters and men (and sometimes a terrifying, stitched-together combination of the two.)

Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, the spooky-looking film focuses on Shelley’s teen years and how she came to write Frankenstein. The idea came to her after a night at the poet Lord Byron’s house, where he challenged a group of friends to write a ghost story. Shelley then later dreamed up the iconic idea for a scientist who brings to life an undead man. (She was the only one to complete the challenge.)


It looks like the movie will dive into Shelley’s clashes with men like Lord Byron, who was the rejected lover of Shelley’s step-sister Claire Clairmont, and Mary’s husband Percy Shelley. But it seems like there’s a larger commentary at work on the fact that Shelley demanded to be taken seriously as not just a writer, but a WOMAN writer with a deeply creepy imagination. “Are you suggesting the work belongs to Mr. Shelley?” Mary says in the trailer, glaring at a man who doubts the subject matter is suitable for young ladies. “It is my story!”

We get it, Mary, you’re goth.