The film focuses on an uncanny world of the carnival, accompanied by hallucinatory elements and a Neo-Noir aesthetic that will likely leave audiences distrusting what they are seeing at any given moment. The cast, including the likes of Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe and Toni Collette amongst others, gives the film serious star power, in doing so putting pressure on Del Toro to get the best out of such a wide cast of talents.
The film, which does not explicitly centre around supernatural elements, is something perhaps a little out of Del Toro’s comfort zone. Most recently helming 2017’s Academy Award Winner The Shape Of Water and before being best known for Horror-Fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth, Del Toro has demonstrated many times what he can do with the more overtly supernatural. Although Nightmare Alley promises to be something of a departure on that front, the trailer makes it clear he has not left behind his dark tone and penchant for period pieces. The 1940s era of the novel gives Del Toro the perfect setting to build off.
Given the critical success of some of Del Toro’s previous works, as well as the immensely talented cast at his disposal and the huge budget that brings with it, Nightmare Alley will be one to look out for come awards season if his vision is fully imagined. Sadly, it seems UK viewers will have to wait a month longer than their counterparts across the pond, with Nightmare Alley being currently slated for a January 21st release.