POWER IS MAGIC! Having been released December 17th, 2021, Nightmare Alley has become a sleeper hit among other movies. Boasting an 80 percent on rotten tomatoes, 7.4/10 on imdb, and 69 percent on metacritic, this film is a great thriller showing the contortions of psychological manipulation that many people succumb to by those who parasitically take cash from their victims in an extortion scheme.
Article and photo credit Jerral Agbayani
Guillermo Del Toro has become one of the most popularized directors of the twenty-first century. With his critically acclaimed works on films such as Pan’s Labyrinth, and more recently The Shape of Water, it is clear that he is devoid of any slowing down on his recent success. Carrying into the 2020s, he has released another piece of acclaimed cinema through his noir drama, Nightmare Alley.
The movie is based on the 1946 novel by William Lindsey Gresham, it follows the story of a man who joins a circus and begins to get the feel of the business. Though meaning no harm, he is swept down the rabbit hole of what is really behind the tents and begins to go into a depthy psychological thrill of greed and deception. With the film delivering us a masterful take on the story, I believe Del Toro to have been the perfect person to take the reins of the film, having his stylistically fantasy-like imagination be evermore present from opening to final shot.
Each scene presents itself in a meaningful way that carries the story, with every piece of dialogue as natural and as raw as a real life conversation. The shots place characters fully on-screen and the transitions are very reminiscent of earlier black and white cinema, giving it a unique feel of aestheticism. While lasting a full two hours and a half, the only people who can’t handle this film are people who don’t know class when it comes to a good film palette. While I’m not a certified critic, I can ensure I know enough to tell what is a good and a bad film. The Craft is a definitive example of teen supernatural trash, the type of trash to make a teen as refined as me sick to my stomach. I am joking, but I am not a big fan of The Craft. In other words, Chopping Mall is so bad it’s good and deserves more attention in mainstream alternative horror culture. Having memorable villains in a setting that very much represented the culture of the 80s, along with B movie horror actor Barbara Crampton, this movie resonates well with the low budget b-movie flicks that very much made up many of the cult classics of the 80s, films which came with iconic and influential films such as The Evil Dead, Killer Klowns from Outer Space and even They Live. They may as well call The Craft: The Crap because it doesn’t even live up to the legendary status of earlier worked low budget horror films and appeals to an audience that only watch the film because of its aesthetic line of marketable products and edginess that isn’t even deep enough to give it a good depthy brooding diving plot.
In total, Nightmare Alley is a great movie to go watch because of how well made it is made. The Craft sucks. This film has solid, bold performances from well established actors and a great direction from an experienced filmmaker.