People have been waiting for the latest project by Guillermo del Toro since 2017 and, now, it is finally out in theatres. Titled Nightmare Alley, this neo-noir psychological thriller asks big questions within a carnivalesque framework. Starring the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, del Toro’s latest work was certainly a promising prospect before it came out.
Nightmare Alley featured Cooper as a mind reader who is confronted by a psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) trying to deconstruct his dubious work. Due to the implications of the title and del Toro’s influence on the horror genre, many fans immediately assumed that Nightmare Alley was also a horror film but it delves into adjacent genres instead.
“This is, bar none, the most difficult movie I ever made,” del Toro revealed in a new interview. He compared it to the difficulty of making Pan’s Labyrinth, claiming that he didn’t know whether the project would actually be completed. Although the film did get around to seeing the light of day, it has been a commercial failure so far and has received mixed reviews.
However, del Toro is satisfied with it because it’s a very personal project for him. “What’s beautiful for me with this movie is the evolution of characters that can, at the same time, be good and bad, the director added. “I feel this is the time to talk about the monstrous in us… I am almost 60 and, as my father would say, well, it’s about time.”
Based on the original novel by William Lindsay Gresham, del Toro actively tried to avoid watching the original 1947 film adaptation while working on this project in order to create something original. He wanted to construct a stylised deconstruction of the American Dream and wanted to show that illusory concept “is always a nightmare.”
Check out the trailer for Nightmare Alley below.