He swears it has nothing to do with the supernatural, that Nightmare Alley is more of a straightforward reality-based story, but come on — it’s Guillermo del Toro. Watch this trailer for his latest film, to be released in theaters only December 17, 2021, and you’ll be hard-pressed to believe there’s nothing fantastical about it. But then, that might just be the grift, as it is for Bradley Cooper’s character Stanton Carlisle, a former carny who uses the tricks he learned working sideshows to con the wealthy and the gullible. (I guess I count as gullible, anyway.)
del Toro collaborates with screenwriter Kim Morgan to adapt a 1946 novel that was turned into a 1947 film noir. And if the filmmaker just wants to make something arty and atmospheric, okay, because certainly man is the most dangerous beast of all.