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In 1816 the poets Byron and Shelley, Byron's doctor Polidori and Shelley's mistress Mary Godwin (later to become his wife) gathered in a villa on Lake Geneva and dared each other to write ghost stories. The results were Polidori's 'The Vampire' and Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. In Ken Russell's recreation of that fateful night, the young Romantics hold a demonic seance and descend into a sex and opium-fuelled nightmare world.