A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.


Josephine Decker


Sarah Gubbins (screenplay by), Susan Scarf Merrell (based on the book written by)
2,946 ( 987)
3 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Elisabeth Moss ... Shirley Jackson
Odessa Young ... Rose Nemser / Paula
Michael Stuhlbarg ... Stanley Hyman
Logan Lerman ... Fred Nemser
Victoria Pedretti ... Katherine
Robert Wuhl ... Randy Fisher
Paul O'Brien ... Dean
Orlagh Cassidy ... Caroline
Bisserat Tseggai ... Peggy
Allen McCullough ... Norman
Tony Manna ... Drunken Fellow
Molly Fahey ... Faculty Wife (as Molly Elizabeth Fahey)
Edward O'Blenis ... Ralph Ellison
Ryan Spahn ... Drunk Cad
Vincent McCauley Vincent McCauley ... Grad Student


As renowned for her morose nature as she is for her horror fiction, writer Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) is crafting yet another masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds Fred and Rose disrupt her creative process and marriage to literary critic - and philandering professor - Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg). As Stanley spars to maintain academic dominance over his would-be protégé Fred, Rose attempts to dampen her own ambitions and adjust to married life while living under the roof of their fiery intellectual hosts with quicksilver loyalties and myriad neuroses. When the motives of Shirley's literary muse prove elusive, Rose's curiosity and trusting nature make her tender prey for a brilliant author whose only allegiance is to her work. Written by Mae Moreno

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, language and brief disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Elizabeth Moss portrays real life author Shirley Jackson. See more »


After breakfast, Rose puts a flower in the mouth of a bull statue that is sitting on the table. After the cut the flower is no longer in the bull's mouth, it is in the vase with the rest of the flowers. See more »


Shirley Jackson: [to Rose] Let's pray for a boy. The world is too cruel to girls.
See more »


Everything About You Appeals To Me
Written by Leon Rene
Performed by The George 'Red' Callender Trio
Courtesy of Tuffamerica, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Bad Script, Great Actors
14 June 2020 | by shark-43See all my reviews

Elisabeth Moss & Michael Stuhlbarg are terrific actors & deliver very strong performances in this uneven film. The script is all over the place, the tone if off and the film can't decide if it wants to be an edgy biopic or another Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? I'm a big fan of Shirley Jackson's writing & wanted to like this movie but found it so sloppily made and un-involving, it was a disappointment.

65 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 113 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »






Release Date:

5 June 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Shirley See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed