Nightmare Alley (2021)

“Step right up and behold one of the unexplained mysteries of the universe! Is he a man or beast? This creature has been examined by the foremost scientists and pronounced, unequivocally, a man. I am prepared to offer you folks one last chance to witness this supreme oddity. Where did it come from? Begotten by the same and threat that got us all walking on this earth, but gone wrong somehow in maternal womb. Not fit for living. Is it a beast, or is it a man? You’re in luck, because tonight, you will see him feed! Come on in and find out. Is he a man… or beast?” – Clem Hoately

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Feb 2022)

Brief Synopsis – A man joins a carnival troupe and begins to try and find his path in life as a mentalist.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been interested in seeing for quite some time due to the fact that it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro and has an all-star cast led by Bradley Cooper.

Unfortunately, the story moves at a deliberately slow pace which make sit harder to concentrate on all that is happening.They do a nice job showing the kind of business that Carnivals gave during that time and due to the Depression and War, were more than willing to try and find something to believe in.

The film does a wonderful job creating some very unique and interesting characters that resonate throughout and that adds to the mystery of things along the way.

The film is a bit too long for its own good and that does hurt things a bit and it might work better if it had been slightly trimmed down a bit in the editing room.

The performances are quite captivating and Cooper once again shows how great an actor he can be because of the various changes that his character makes over the course of the movie.

The film’s mystery plays out well even if parts are a bit too predictable along the way.

On the other hand, I did enjoy the way that they were able to reveal some of the trade secrets used in these kind of exhibits because by allowing us to see the man behind the curtain, we can try and get more insight into why people chose these kinds of paths in life.

I think part of my problem with this film was that I had much higher expectations that were unfortunately never met.


MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Most of the early scenes were filmed after production suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bradley Cooper used the time to lose 15 pounds and appear younger for the beginning of the film. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)


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