guillermo-del-toro-cabinet-of-curiosities-movie-review-2022

Guillermo del Toro - “Cabinet of Curiosities” Movie Review

Story posted November 9, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Cassie Baylis.

Guillermo del Toro’s “Cabinet of Curiosities” was released piece by piece last week up until Oct. 28 on Netflix.

Some well-known actors and actresses starring in the show are Kate Micucci as Stacey, Rupert Grint as Walter Gilman, and Eric André as Randall Roth.

The series contains eight different tales, each with their own episode. Lovers of thrilling scary stories will find “Cabinet of Curiosities” amusing and unnerving (in a good way).

This was the perfect release for the days leading up to Halloween, as these creepy stories are not ordinary contents of the horror genre.

Guillermo del Toro is a filmmaker credited with films such as “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001), “The Shape of Water” (2017) and “Nightmare Alley” (2021).

Most of del Toro’s works are considered horror films. Therefore, it is not surprising Guillermo del Toro helps to give a fresh take on spooky stories with the release of this series, coming from his years of experience.

It should be noted the unique quality of the series also comes from the multiple directors Guillermo del Toro involved in the process.

Guillermo Navarro, Vincenzo Natali, David Prior, Ana Lily Amirpour, Keith Thomas, Catherine Hardwicke, Panos Cosmatos and Jennifer Kent are the directors contributing to the creation of the series. These directors’ styles are clear in each episode, impressing viewers with the pure technique.

With intriguing plot lines, jarring creatures, and chilling cinematography, viewers are on the edge of their seat waiting for the thrills to begin.

The best aspect of “Cabinet of Curiosities” is its writing. Guillermo del Toro worked with other writers to produce the eight different horror tales which come together to form this overall well-rounded series.

Each episode focuses on its own story paired with new characters, and the time period ranges for the storylines. The series produces a deep sense of uniqueness when adding all of these factors together.

Naturally, the writing designs scenarios that might make viewers feel as though it could really happen to them, which develops the best sense of thrill.

The episode will start off quite normal, easing into the unexpected, fear-inducing events yet to come in the storyline.

For instance, the first episode, “Lot 36,” follows a man who buys an abandoned storage locker, a normal hobby or job someone might have. Later on, watchers discover the secrets kept inside the storage locker. Some people might want to travel back to a time where they did not know the truth.

In this episode, along with the others, “Cabinet of Curiosities” lays the foundation for a typical story then twists the plot to enact fear unexpectedly. All while happening in the span of only 40 minutes to an hour.

Also utilizing the same method of normalcy to insanity, Ana Lily Amirpour presents something viewers might relate to and twists it creepily in the fourth episode, “The Outside.” Amirpour's direction and Kate Micucci’s performance as Stacey provide a thoroughly intriguing story with great character development.

The creatures produced in the writing of the series are startling and interesting, as well.

They are reminiscent of fears viewers would have created in their minds as a child, the usual demons and monsters. Only these are amplified to make any adult scared while watching.

Some viewers might find themselves terrified of the flesh-eating rats included in episode 2 after finishing “Cabinet of Curiosities.”

The forms each creature takes leaves chills, viewers might want to look away but the intrigue pulls them in further.

Courtesy of the visions of the directors for the episodes, the cinematography adds to this eerie effect of the stories and the uniqueness of the episodes.

Each director adds their own technique in the cinematography of their episode. While there is a clear individual style, the series still ties together.

In episode 3, “The Autopsy,” director, David Prior showcases a typical detective film style to produce a “murder mystery” story.

Panos Cosmatos’ “The Viewing,” Episode 7, has reddish and dark tones, proving to be a great combination for a thrilling story.

These eight distinct directions merge for a wonderfully put together series.

Guillermo del Toro’s “Cabinet of Curiosities” truly enacts new fears for its viewers, as one might not ordinarily generate such imaginative stories or scary creatures.

The combination of multiple writers and directors produces a unique series perfect for a thrilling experience.

In doing so, it exceeds any expectations. If viewers are still seeking a series of thrills after Halloween, these episodes will fill this void with surprises around every corner.

Rating: 4/5

Cassie Baylis is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email ceb6085@psu.edu.