Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley

Directed by Guillermo del Toro

(2021, Searchlight Pictures/Searchlight Pictures (as Searchlight Pictures)/Double Dare You (DDY)/Ontario Creates/TSG Entertainment)

The remake of Nightmare Alley is really two movies rolled into one.

The first part is about Stan (Bradley Cooper), a drifter who wanders into a carnival taking any job he can get for a warm bed and a hot meal. He then endears himself to a fortune teller couple within the carnival learning the tricks of the trade on how to “read” people astonishing them with stories about their past and departed loved ones.

Fast forward to the second part of the movie where Stan has run off with Molly (Rooney Mara), a fellow carnie who he’s fallen in love with taking a job as a mentalist at the Copacobana wowing the rich and elite. It is there that he crosses paths with a psychologist played by Cate Blanchett who trades secrets of her well-to-do patients with Stan so he can “read” them for money in exchange for him submitting to her psychoanalysis of him.

While the first part of the movie is enjoyable, enticing, and clearly centered in the monster/freak world that director, Guillermo del Toro has come to be known for, the second part is mediocre, grey, and dragged out.

If only the movie stayed within the carnival atmosphere or carried that tone into the second part, the movie would have been more cohesive but instead you stay with the movie to see what happens wishing all the time you were back the freak show.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: